Your Thyroid Gland – Why You Should Not Ignore It
Are you feeling sluggish, having difficulty focusing, gaining weight despite dieting or are you full of energy and losing weight despite eating healthy sized meals? Could these symptoms be and indication that something is not quite right with your thyroid gland? Your thyroid gland when not functioning properly can have numerous effects on your health. So what is the thyroid gland? The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in the throat that produces hormones that are involved with many areas of the body from your heart and nervous system to your digestive system and even your skin and hair. The thyroid gland can affect the function of your body in numerous ways.
The thyroid gland regulates the body’s metabolism. So what this means is that if your thyroid is overactive your body will use up energy quickly and you may find that you can eat all you want and not gain any weight or despite eating healthy sized meals you may find that you are losing weight. On the other hand if your thyroid is underactive then weight gain might be an issue despite any attempt to cut back on the calories.
2. Heart and Blood Pressure
The thyroid gland plays a role in the normal function of the heart. When the thyroid is overactive you may develop a rapid heart rate or high blood pressure. When the thyroid gland is underactive its effect on the heart can be a lowered heart rate and lower blood pressure. Your nervous system is also affected when the thyroid gland is either overactive or underactive. When it is overactive you may have difficulty sleeping, you may be irritable and restless, whereas an underactive thyroid can contribute to depression and memory impairment.
3. Skin and Hair
Your skin and hair does not escape the effects of this little butterfly-shaped gland either. When functioning normally the thyroid can contribute to normal hydration of the skin. If they thyroid is overactive the skin can become thick, dry and can also contribute to coarse thinning hair. If the thyroid is underactive, the skin can be overly moist and nails may be soft and thin and the hair can become very fine.
This remarkable little gland located in the throat truly has far reaching effects throughout the body. No wonder January is dedicated to thyroid awareness. If you are interested in learning more about the thyroid and how it can affect your health, check out this article by the American Thyroid Association “What You Need to Know About the Thyroid” and the article “Why Thyroid Health Should Matter to All, Especially Women”.