Your thyroid is integral to your health, but do you actually know what it does? When I ask people, they all have a vague understanding that it has something to do with hormones, but what is that something? Here’s a breakdown of what your thyroid does, and how to keep it functioning properly.
The Thyroid and What it Does
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck. It produces hormones that regulate many aspects of your metabolism. This includes your heart rate, body temperature, energy levels, weight, mood, and more! It’s definitely one of the powerhouses of your body. There are many hormones involved in thyroid function, but there are three main ones with very long and science-jargon-filled names, so I’ll be referring to them by their acronyms. These three hormones are called T3, T4, and TSH.
TSH is the regulator hormone that comes from the pituitary gland in your brain. It tells the thyroid how much T3 and T4 it needs to produce and release into your bloodstream. These two hormones do many different things. For example, they help with heart rate regulation, they assist your cells in utilizing glucose for energy, and they influence your brain development, mood, and cognition.
But what happens when your thyroid isn’t producing these two hormones adequately? The overproduction and underproduction of these hormones are called hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, respectively.
Hyperthyroidism means that your metabolism is too fast, and your thyroid is producing too much T3 and T4. Hyperthyroidism can cause symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, weight loss, muscle weakness, temperature sensitivities, and more.
Hypothyroidism means that your thyroid is producing too little T3 and T4 and as a result, your metabolism is too slow. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, depression, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, hair loss, and more.
How to check for thyroid function
If you feel that your thyroid function is abnormal, the best way to check is to get a blood panel. Our Thyroid Function panel will test your TSH, T3, and T4 levels to see if everything is working normally.
Simply order the test online, and once you ship it back, receive your results online and from the comfort of your home.
How to improve thyroid function
There are some quality-of-life changes that you can make, to ensure that your thyroid is functioning properly. The best part about these changes? You can start today!
Eat a balanced diet
Foods that are rich in iodine (such as seafood, dairy, and eggs,) selenium (such as mushrooms and sunflower seeds,) iron (such as spinach, lentils, and red meat,) and antioxidants (like berries and green tea,) are great for thyroid function.
Take Care of Yourself
Exercise, manage your stress, and get enough sleep. Create a healthy routine for yourself where you are not over-extending your body’s needs. 30 minutes of exercise per day is all your body needs. Alongside this, practicing meditation techniques and following a proper sleep schedule can help your body adjust itself naturally.
Speak to a Doctor
After receiving your results, you can be connected to a doctor for recommendations regarding the best course of action for you. There are many medications out there that help your thyroid regulate all of its processes.
So there you go. If you believe that your thyroid is working improperly, purchase one of our test kits today, and receive your results within 72 hours of delivery. Don’t wait to prioritize your health.