To understand your body's hormones, you have to understand your thyroid!

Hormones are major contributors to our overall health as human beings, and having proper hormone levels and balances can make a world of difference in how good you feel and how well you function! If you’re getting into learning about your hormones, one of the biggest things that you’ll start hearing about is your thyroid. This part of your body is extremely important, and problems with the thyroid can lead to a whole host of unpleasant symptoms and health problems, but what actually is the thyroid? What does it do, and how do you know if yours is working the way it should? Let’s take a closer look at this organ and learn a little more about what it does for your body!

What is the Thyroid?

The thyroid is a gland that is one of the biggest pit stops in your body’s endocrine system, or the system that controls your hormones. It’s a small but mighty organ that contributes to many essential functions in your body!

What Does the Thyroid Do?

One of the thyroid’s main functions is to regulate your metabolism, or how your body uses energy. The food that you consume powers everything in your body, turning into energy sources that keep your heart beating, your brain working, your hair growing, and so on. Your thyroid makes several of the hormones that help this to happen, namely thyroxine, triiodothyronine, reverse triiodothyronine, and calcitonin. These hormones work together with other hormones and chemicals in your body to control your heart rate, breathing, digestion, body temperature, brain development, mental activity, skin and bone health, and even your fertility. 

Where is the Thyroid?

The thyroid is located at the front of your neck, just below your larynx and around your trachea. The gland is about two inches long and roughly shaped like a butterfly. When you go to the doctor, they’ll sometimes push on the front of your throat on either side of your windpipe; when they do this, they’re feeling for your thyroid gland and making sure that it doesn’t have any problems like increased size, tenderness, or lumps and bumps that could indicate a problem.

What Causes Thyroid Problems?

Thyroid disease is a fairly common condition with four main types. You can either have an overactive or underactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism respectively), you can have an enlarged thyroid, referred to as a goiter, or you can have thyroid cancer. There are lots of different subtypes of thyroid disease under these umbrellas, such as Hashimoto’s disease, which is a type of hypothyroidism, or Graves’ disease, a type of hyperthyroidism. The specific type of thyroid disease that a person deals with determines how it presents in their life and how it can be treated.

What are the Signs of Thyroid Problems?

Because there are so many different types of thyroid disease, there are many different signs and symptoms that can indicate one or the other in a person. However, there are some general signs of thyroid problems that are the same between many of these conditions, and you can spot them by looking for issues in the body systems that the thyroid affects. For example, slow or fast heart rate, unexplained weight loss or gain, difficulty tolerating heat or cold, depression and anxiety, and problems with the menstrual cycle can all be indicators of a thyroid problem, especially when they occur together and don’t have other explanations. Your doctor can check for issues with your thyroid by running a blood test called a thyroid panel to see if the hormones that the thyroid produces are all present in normal levels. If you do have a problem with your thyroid, there are many treatments available that can help to get you feeling better again!


Understanding your hormones and how your endocrine system works can help you to be more in tune with your body and your health! If you’re interested in learning more about hormonal health, you can continue reading our blog here for more information.

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