All About Your Thyroid
What Is the Endocrine System?
The endocrine system is made up of glands all over your body. These help regulate various aspects of how your body functions using hormones distributed through the bloodstream. All these glands work in coordination with each other, but one of the most important parts of the puzzle is the thyroid.
The thyroid is a small gland located in your neck that produces and distributes thyroid hormone throughout your body. One of the major operations controlled by thyroid hormones is overall metabolic rate. This generally regulates appetite, the breakdown of fats, and the decrease of cholesterol levels.
Thyroid hormones also control how fast your heart beats, affecting the distribution of oxygenated blood throughout the body and helping to monitor overall body temperature.
Other functions that fall under the jurisdiction of the thyroid are sexual function, sleep, and healthy thought patterns.
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Common Thyroid Issues For Women
Thyroids can be affected by a range of issues, but the two most common problems are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. For women, these thyroid issues can lead to specific problems with the various systems the thyroid influences, meaning symptoms can vary far and wide.
Hormone imbalances happen on a scale. You can be slightly out of balance and experience some of these symptoms more than others, or you can be far more out of balance and face more intense expression of the problem. Every body is different, and so identifying what is in the “normal range” can be difficult. Only you truly know if something feels out of the ordinary when it comes to some of these symptoms.
Hyperthyroidism vs. Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism — meaning an overactive thyroid gland that produces too much of the thyroid hormone — and hypothyroidism — meaning an under active thyroid — each have their own unique symptoms, but interestingly they share some symptoms too.
- Unexpected Weight Loss
- Increased Heart Rate
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Anxiety and Sleeping Problems
- Muscle Weakness
- Problems Related to Sight
- Swelling of the Neck
- Hair Loss
- Inability to Regulate Body Temperature
- Irregular Menstrual Cycle
- Joint and Muscle Pain
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Unexplained Weight Gain
- Slowed Heart Rate
- Sluggish, Tired
- Extra Dry Skin
Testing For Thyroid Issues
How Do I Know If I’m Having Thyroid Issues?
Testing for a thyroid disorder can be done with blood tests by your doctor. The test will reveal the level of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and determine whether you are suffering from either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. There are other methods of checking thyroid function though. Imaging studies and thyroid biopsies are also used to test the function of the gland.
WHAT KIND OF TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE?
If a thyroid issue is found, fear not! Treatments are available in the form of bioidentical hormone therapy. Using hormones that are biologically identical to those produced by the thyroid, this treatment can bring back the balance in your body and reduce symptoms. These treatments are available for other endocrine disorders as well.
Unlike other labs, which use chemicals to artificially produce synthetic hormones, we know that natural hormones are far more efficient and less likely to have negative side effects. That’s why we utilize a plant-based source to meet the body’s need for naturally produced hormones.