A healthy and balanced life is impossible without a properly functioning thyroid gland. The thyroid is an endocrine gland in the neck, consisting of two lobes connected by an isthmus located at the front of the neck, below the Adam’s apple. The gland is responsible for producing all of the hormones our bodies need to function. Its primary job is influencing the metabolic rate. The hormones the thyroid produces help control metabolism and are what our other vital organs rely on for energy in order to work efficiently and properly.
The hormones produced by the thyroid gland impact different parts of the body, including the heart, liver, muscles, brain, and more. In cases when it has diminished activity and does not produce enough thyroid hormone, a disorder known as hypothyroidism can occur. The most common causes of an underactive thyroid are a lack of iodine in the diet, an underlying autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and radiation treatment.
In the case of iodine deficiency, a change in diet can be enough to solve the issue. The human body does not make its own supply of iodine and therefore one’s diet has to contain foods that are naturally rich in iodine, such as organic yogurt, cranberries, navy beans, strawberries, potatoes, cheddar or cheese made with goat’s milk which all positively influence the functioning of the gland. Hypothyroidism can be easily diagnosed by blood test and managed and treated with hormone therapy.
If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to a variety of health issues. Joint pain, obesity, heart disease, infertility, depression, and even coma are all possible results of the condition. It is important to know what symptoms to look out for so you can avoid possible complications and get timely treatment.
Here are the most common signs to look for:
1. Sudden and unexplained weight gain
2. Muscle weakness
3. General fatigue
5. Memory loss
6. Thinning, coarse, or dry hair
7. Rough, dry, pale skin
8. Puffy face
9. Sensitivity and/or intolerance to cold
11. Increased irritability
12. Muscle aches and cramps
13. Abnormal menstrual cycle with heavier or irregular periods in women
Check out the video below for more information on the thyroid gland, how it functions and what to look out for when it doesn’t.
* This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances.