As the body’s “thermostat,” the thyroid gland is involved in almost every function our body uses to stay in balance. Thyroid hormones are responsible for producing energy from food, hormone production that other organ systems need to thrive, nervous system tasks, metabolizing the foods we eat, and temperature regulation. The thyroid gland is one of the body’s organ superpowers.
Made of small cavities of follicles, this butterfly-shaped organ sits just below the Adam’s Apple of the neck. To stay in balance, the small cavities in the thyroid gland fill with thyroglobulin material to make the number one ingredient needed to make thyroid hormones, amino tyrosine.
To effectively use amino tyrosine, the body has to turn iodide that is absorbed into the body to iodine. Using thyroid peroxidase (TPO) as an enzyme the body can “iodinate” or activated the iodide into iodine to bind to the tyrosine.
The two biological active iodines in the body are (thyroglobulin plus three iodine) or T4 (thyroglobulin plus four iodine). T4 is known as a pro hormone and is much less able to perform superpowers, whereas T3 is 300 percent more active and can truly kick butt.
The body knows when there are low levels of T3 and T4 to signal the release of TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) and to turn off production when levels are high. It’s a beautifully balanced machine. Until it’s not.
When the thyroid gland is out of balance by either producing an inadequate thyroid hormone production (hypothyroidism) or an overabundance (hyperthyroidism) Thyroid hormone disorders are the result. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, cold intolerance, constipation, fatigue, joint pain, cramping, hair loss, infertility. Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include irritability, restlessness, insomnia, weight loss, hair loss, muscle weakness, eye changes, excess sweating.
TSH has been used as a screening test for thyroid function but this test doesn’t allow us to catch thyroid disorders. I find it more helpful to also screen for Free T4, Free T3, reverse T3, and anti-thyroid antibodies if I suspect Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. TPOAb and TGAb.
If you are experiencing symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, let’s chat! Schedule your free 15-minute strategy call today.