The thyroid is a small gland located in the front of the neck. It consists of two halves called lobes, weighing less than ounce combined, and lie along the windpipe, just below the larynx (adam’s apple).
Over 13 million Americans suffer from thyroid disorders, most often its an underactive thyroid gland, or
hypothyroidism. This condition is more common in women and may worsen with age. Nearly 20% of
women over 65 have thyroid imbalances.
The thyroid connection in mental health is that a thyroid deficiency may be cognitive, emotional disturbances, anxiety and sleep issues. Thyroid treatment may be useful in the treatment of depression, anxiety, insomnia and cognitive decline.
THE FUNCTION OF THE THYROID
The function of the thyroid gland is to utilize iodine, found in many foods such as dairy, fish and seaweed, and convert the iodine to the thyroid hormones T3 (triiodothyrone) and T4 (thyroxine). Thyroid cells are the only in the body that can absorb iodine. Thyroid cells combine iodine with the amino acid Tyrosine to produce T3 and T4, then release them into the bloodstream to be transported throughout the body where they control the conversion of oxygen and calories to energy (metabolism), regulating body temperature, heart rates and other functions. Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for proper regulation.
WHY ALL THYROID HORMONES SHOULD BE TESTEDThyroid health includes TSH, T4, T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies, yet often only TSH, T4 and T3 are tested. But each play a critical role and the values will determine any thyroid malfunction and we recommend testing all the thyroid values.
T3 helps to maintain muscle control, brain function, heart and digestive functions.
T4 is also responsible for metabolism, mood and body temperature.
Reverse T3 is the inactive form of T3, a natural byproduct of thyroid hormone production and believed to be a natural buffer against hyperthyroidism. High Reverse T3 is often the reason for patients demonstrating the symptoms of Hypothyroidism with low iron levels or poor blood sugar management.
Thyroid Antibodies can develop when a person’s immune system mistakenly targets components of the thyroid, leading to chronic inflammation of the thyroid and disruption of thyroid function. This is indicative of an autoimmune issue.
SYMPTOMS OF THYROID IMBALANCES
INCREASED SENSITIVITY TO COLD OR HEAT
FATIGUE / HYPOTHYROID
NERVOUSNESS / HYPERTHYROID
POOR SLEEP PATTERNS
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