Your thyroid is your body’s metabolic engine and one of the most important glands in your body, so keep it healthy!
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland that wraps around your windpipe. Located in the front of the neck just behind the Adam’s apple area, the thyroid is basically a metabolic gatekeeper. The hormones it secretes regulate the rate of function of almost all tissues in the body. It controls the way you metabolize food, the way you use energy, how you lose and gain weight, how well or how poorly you sleep, the condition of your hair and nails, and much, much more. We also know that women are more prone to thyroid conditions than men.
One of the best ways to support your thyroid is by eating healthy, exercising and reducing your exposure to harmful foods and toxins. As we grow older, our thyroid faces more challenges. Women face increased challenges during pregnancy and menopause. Men also face hormonal challenges as they age, reducing their ability to create energy. Once a person hits the age of 30, their body will lose 300 calories of energy potential every decade. So, at age 40, your body requires 300 less calories than it did at 30 to support the same weight. Exercising and eating healthy is one way to counter an aging metabolism.
The thyroid affects so many different parts of our body; all of the following symptoms could be a sign of a thyroid condition:
- weight gain or weight loss
- bulging eyes
- swollen face/eyes,
- cold hands/feet,
- low blood pressure
- heart palpitations
- high cholesterol (despite medication)
- altered menstrual cycles
- hair loss, thinning eye brows
- memory problems
- difficulty concentrating
- feeling clumsy/lack of coordination
- ridges in your nails or brittle nails
- depression or mood swings
The thyroid plays a major role in many of the body’s systems and, unfortunately, thyroid tests do not always tell the full story about your thyroid health. I've seen many people with normal thyroid tests that had thyroid dysfunction. If you think you're having thyroid issues, consult with a doctor.
Check back soon for more on thyroid health and what to eat to keep it happy.