Thyroid dysfunction is one of the undiagnosed disorders in the world. This tiny neck gland produces hormones that influence the entire body, regulating some of its most crucial functions.
Our thyroid plays a significant role in weight control, energy production, and overall health. Left unchecked, thyroid dysfunction may have a negative impact on your life. Here are some of the most important ways our thyroid supports a healthy lifestyle.
Promotes Skin and Nerve Cell Growth
The two primary thyroid hormones are Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). Both of these hormones are necessary for your body to produce two key growth hormones:
- Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) - Regulates Our Sense of Touch
- Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) - Promotes Skin Cell Growth
While we like to look good and feel good, our nerves and cells are crucial for survival. Our skin cells protect us from viruses and bacteria. Meanwhile, nerve cells communicate potential dangers to the central nervous and immune systems.
Thanks to nerve and skin cells, our body can defend itself. Looking good and feeling good is just an added bonus!
Support your thyroid by adding more fish to your diet. Fish is a lean protein and rich in amino acids that promote healthy skin and nerve cell growth. They also contain healthy fats, which help repair damaged cells!
Regulates Body Temperature
Do you curl up under a blanket in the summer or sprawl out in front of the fan during winter? Then you might have an issue with your thyroid gland.
Our internal temperature should sit around 98.6° F. The body relies on thyroid hormones to maintain that balance.
When we produce too many thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism), our body temperature tends to run high. If we don’t produce enough thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism), then we start layering up on clothes.
Maintaining your core temperature isn’t just crucial for your comfort. Enzymes also depend on consistent heat levels. If conditions get too hot, there won’t be any enzymes to cause necessary chemical reactions. Whereas, if conditions get too cold, cell reproduction might slow down.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. It’s unfortunate that so many people are unaware of the connection between the thyroid and heart
Our thyroid hormones influence:
- Blood Pressure
- Heart Rate
- Cholesterol Levels
Those with hypothyroidism have a slower heart rate. With less blood pumping through the arteries, veins lose elasticity. This change will negatively impact blood circulation. Blood pressure naturally rises to help circulate the blood.
If you have hyperthyroidism, you may experience a rapid heartbeat. As a result, it’s common to battle high body temperatures and heart palpitations.
Your thyroid can’t do the work on its own. Get some cardio in! Five days of the week, try to get in at least 30 minutes of cardio. Not a fan of cardio days? Switch it up! Hiking, swimming, jumping jacks, jump rope, and Zumba are all great heart workouts.
Do you lack energy even after a full night’s rest? Your thyroid might need some support. The primary goal of our thyroid gland is to regulate our metabolism.
Our metabolism is responsible for breaking down carbohydrates in our food into energy. T3 and T4 hormones help facilitate this process. They’re also responsible for converting oxygen into energy, as well!
Next time you feel groggy, don’t reach for a cup of coffee that will leave you jittery. Instead, eat foods rich in iodine and tyrosine. The thyroid is the only gland to use iodine to make hormones. The amino acid, tyrosine, must be present for this to happen. Foods rich in both of these energy-boosting compounds include dairy, salmon, eggs, spirulina, and prunes.
One of the most common symptoms of an underactive thyroid is weight gain. Seeing as most people with a thyroid disorder have hypothyroidism, weight loss might be an issue for you.
Research shows that those who have a thyroid disorder have a low basal metabolic rate. That means we’re not converting enough calories we consume into energy. So, that energy stays within the fat around our gut.
Another telltale sign of a thyroid disorder is swelling in the neck. Your thyroid gland is around the larynx. If you start to develop a double chin, you might need thyroid support.
For those with an overactive thyroid, you may experience unexpected weight loss. Compounded with increased heart rate and body temperatures, you might begin to feel weak and lethargic.
Don’t just worry about the quantity of your calories. Sure, cutting back is important. However, the quality of your calories is even more crucial. Eat as many organic and whole foods as possible. Stay away from artificial ingredients and get out of that drive-thru line.