Understanding the Crucial Role the Thyroid Plays in Your Overall Health

Look inside a clock, and you’ll find all sorts of cogs and wheels. Some are large and seem significant, while others are small and don’t play an obvious role. However, each part is crucial, regardless of size.

Your body works similarly. Your thyroid isn’t as big as your heart or as complex as your brain, but that doesn’t make it any less essential to your well-being. Unfortunately, many don’t understand the role their thyroid plays until they become one of the 20 million Americans with a thyroid problem. 

That’s why Dr. Michael Skardasis at Optimal Performance Medicine in Woodstock, Georgia, is dedicated to helping people understand and respond to their thyroid’s needs. Here’s a guide for getting to know your thyroid and the crucial role it plays in your health. 

Thyroid basics

Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of your neck. It produces the hormones thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), reverse triiodothyronine (RT3), and calcitonin, which play a role in regulating your:

The thyroid gland doesn't do all of that work on its own; it works in tandem with the other systems and organs in your body. For example, your thyroid releases hormones that interact with your gastrointestinal organs to help food move efficiently through your digestive system, a process called gastrointestinal motility. 

Life with a malfunctioning thyroid

Unfortunately, a thyroid hormone imbalance can happen at any time and set off an avalanche of frustrating health problems.

The most common type of thyroid hormone imbalance is hypothyroidism, which occurs when your thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones to support your body’s functions.

Hypothyroidism can develop for several reasons, including autoimmune conditions, certain medications, and iodine deficiencies. Being pregnant can also impact your thyroid functioning, which is one of the reasons women are more at risk for hypothyroidism than men. 

When you have hypothyroidism, you may experience:

Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, occurs when your thyroid is overactive. In that case, you might experience loose stool, jitteriness, heat intolerance, difficulty sleeping, weight loss, and anxiety. 

Any disturbance in thyroid functioning can affect your overall well-being. That’s why we take thyroid issues seriously and conduct thorough examinations to uncover the cause and extent of the problem. 

When you’re dealing with hypothyroidism, Dr. Skardasis can recommend a course of hormone replacement therapy to restore hormone balance and reduce your symptoms. We also work with you to make lifestyle changes that help your thyroid help itself, such as:

The thyroid remains a mystery for many, but taking the time to learn about and optimize some of the smallest parts of your anatomy can significantly impact your long-term health. 

If you suspect you have a thyroid problem, call Optimal Performance Medicine to schedule an appointment or use our convenient online booking. We’re here to help you improve your overall health.

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