The butterfly shaped organ that wraps around our throat is called the thyroid gland. This seemingly indescript organ can actually have a tremendous effect on our health. It's function is somewhat complicated, and disorders of the thyroid are very often overlooked or downplayed. This occurs in spite of the prevalence of thyroid disorders in our society.
Thyroid disorders are believed to affect one in thirteen Americans. That's about twenty million people in the US alone. Of those twenty million, about sixty percent don't even know they have a problem. The numbers of affected further break down into the different types of thyroid disorders. Low thyroid function, high thyroid function and various autoimmune conditions are troubling the bodies and overall health of millions of people.
These different conditions of the thyroid can cause a myriad of symptoms. These many symptoms can also cause confusion because they seem so unrelated to the thyroid. Amazingly, when we go to the doctor for our thorough annual check ups they rarely do a full examination of the thyroid. Most will only test TSH, which is thyroid stimulating hormone. But there are many other markers to look at to ensure the thyroid is functioning optimally. This is very much a part of the reason that many thyroid conditions go undiagnosed.
The thyroid is an endocrine gland, and part of our intricate endocrine system. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into the body that regulate and stimulate certain reactions in other parts of the body. The thyroid is stimulated by hormones that start in the hypothalamus and then to the pituitary. The pituitary releases TSH on cue from the hypothalamus. The stimulated thyroid is triggered then to release its own hormones for which every tissue in our body has receptors for. Our thyroid can directly affect every organ in our body to perform. For this reason it is important to know if you have a healthy thyroid or not. And with nutrition we can better ensure a healthier thyroid, and subsequently better overall health.
This blog post launches a new series of articles on Healthy Thyroid Function. I will spend at least a week exploring the proper function of the thyroid gland, as well as its common disorders. I will end with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition which is becoming the most common and prevalent disorder of the thyroid. I encourage questions and dialog as we move forward in the study of this master endocrine gland.
Read Part 2 of the Healthy Thyroid Function series.
A complete thyroid blood panel can reveal any disorders or malfunctions in the thyroid and its system. Have you wondered if your thyroid may not be functioning properly, but your doctor keeps telling you it's fine? Consider a Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis to reveal nutritional imbalances and malfunctions of your body systems.