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What Is The Thyroid and how do you get underactive thyroid symptoms?

The thyroid gland is located in the neck, about where a man’s Adam’s apple is located. It is about 12cm to 15cm long and is the shape of a butterfly.

The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, and it’s responsible for releasing hormones (as are all parts of the endocrine system). The thyroid hormones’ main action is to balance our metabolism, which regulates how your body uses energy. Because of this, the thyroid gland influences just about everything in the human body.

Thyroid hormone affects:

  • Digestion
  • Energy
  • Weight management
  • Mood
  • Concentration and memory
  • Immune system response
  • How fats, protein, carbohydrates, and nutrients are absorbed
  • Heart strength and rhythm
  • Breathing and blood oxygen levels
  • Bone marrow and red cell production
  • Hair growth

PLUS the thyroid regulates the secretion and breakdown of all other hormones found in your body and how your tissues respond to those hormones!

There is not a tissue or organ in the body that isn’t affected by the excess or insufficient amount of thyroid hormone in the body.

How Does The Thyroid Work?

It all starts when the pituitary gland (found in the brain) releases TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). TSH is controlled by what the body feels it needs. For example, if body temperature drops, more TSH is produced to increase metabolism and raise body temperature.

TSH works directly on the thyroid gland to tell it to release further hormones. These hormones are T4, T3, T2, and T1. The T4 hormone needs to be converted by the liver into T3, the most active form of the hormones. T2 and T1 are only produced in small amounts, and while they are believed to play a big part in metabolism, they make up less than 4% of overall thyroid hormone and therefore, unfortunately, have not been well researched.

Once these thyroid hormones are released into the blood stream, they are accepted into cells all over the body, so those cells can do their work—boosting energy, regulating sleep, controlling concentration, aiding digestion, managing liver function, regulating hormonal balance, burning fat, developing muscles, prompting immune system response… everything! This is why an underactive thyroid can make you feel horrible in a hundred different ways.

Learn more about how an underactive thyroid affects your whole body.

This is why an underactive thyroid can make you feel horrible in a hundred different ways.

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