You may be surprised to learn the massive overall effect your thyroid gland can have on your health. Especially as this small gland sits hidden somewhere in your neck! To find your thyroid gland you need to feel for it on top of your windpipe, just underneath your Adam’s apple. That small bump you feel is your thyroid and checking its size regularly will let you know the minute it is swollen – a condition that may indicate a problem.
The thyroid became a very popular scapegoat with overweight people. Not everybody may stake this claim successfully, but a large part of the overweight population may be spot on with their diagnosis. The thyroid plays an enormous role in weight management and metabolic rate is determined by the thyroid.
Apart from metabolic rate, the thyroid also helps in protein being changed into muscle mass. Muscles burn fat, so should this process slow down, your body will store excess energy taken in as fat, rather than to use it to fuel your muscles. A slow thyroid may cause even body builders to lose all their muscles in a short time.
Your thyroid acts like the head boy at a school by keeping all the other glands in check. This explains why a sick thyroid may cause severe reactions like impotence, fatigue and nervous problems elsewhere in your body. Every hormone controlled function in your body gets regulated by the thyroid.
But how can such a small gland in your neck influence every part of your body? By using its special messengers called T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxin) -which are hormones themselves – then thyroid can stimulate any body part by sending T3 and T4 trough the blood system to these parts. These two causes a chain reaction in the body as more and more hormones are released on their command.
When things go wrong with your thyroid it may secrete too little or too much of the T3 and T4 hormones. Too little is called hypothyroidism and too much, hyperthyroidism. To counter any of these problems you should take medicines orally to either stimulate or calm down your thyroid – but only a doctor can determine the dose and the frequency you should follow.
The thyroid is not a gland that functions completely on its own accord, but gets its stimulation from the brain, and more specifically from two parts of the brain – the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. Any medication that has an influence on these brain parts will have side effects attached to the thyroid. Talk to your doctor about this to suit your concerns.
Only fools borrow medication from somebody else, and unfortunately fat people are very guilty of taking thyroid stimulants as they believe their weight problems are caused by a lazy thyroid. What they are actually doing is damaging a healthy thyroid and this may lead to permanent problems you never should have had. If you are concerned, have your thyroid checked by drawing some blood for tests. Even if you do not suspect any problems a regular checkup from the age of 27 is advisable.