Thyroid Awareness

January is Thyroid Awareness Month!  Here's the low-down on this AMAZING, yet SO important butterfly shaped gland that sits below your Adam's apple!

Some quick facts:

-It's made up of 2 lobes (left and right) which are each the size of a plum cut in 1/2.  They are joined together by tissue called the isthmus.  These lobes lie on either side of your windpipe.

-Your thyroid makes 2 hormones: thyroxine (t4) and triiodothyronine (t3).

-t4 is converted into t3 which is considered the active form and influences the activity of our cells and tissues in our body.

-If t3 and t4 are low, your hypothalamus in your brain is signaled to produce TRH (thyrotopin releasing hormone) which stimulates your pituitary to produce TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) to make more t3 and t4.

-Your thyroid is dependent on other hormones to function normally--specifically insulin, cortisol and your sex hormones.

-Your thyroid helps the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles and all other ogans in the body working properly.

So, basically GOOD things do come in small packages!  Can you believe all that your little thyroid can do and why it's SO important to make sure it's working correctly for optimal health?

Now, what can happen if this little gland isn't working properly?
1.  Hypothyroidism, or under-active thyroid.  Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Sensitivity to cold temperatures
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin and nails
  • Puffy face
  • Thinning hair
  • Irregular menses
  • Depression

2.  Hyperthyroidism, or over-active thyroid. Symptoms include:

  • Weight loss (unexplained)
  • Increase in appetite
  • Rapid heart rate/palpitations
  • Anxiety/irritability/nervousness
  • Tremor
  • Sweating
  • Increased sensitivity to heat
  • Sleep disturbances

3.  Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: autoimmune condition of the thyroid and the most common cause of under-active thyroid, however, 80% of those with thyroid disease have this and don't know it because it is not properly tested though lab work (unless you see me, of course!)

4.  Grave's disease: another autoimmune disorder of the thyroid, but also the most common cause of overactive thyroid.  Usually genetic and more common in women than men.

5.  Goiter: non-cancerous enlargement of the thyroid.

6.  Nodules: growths on the thyroid most commonly due to iodine insufficiency.

7.  Thyroid cancer: most common type of endocrine cancer in children.

As you can see the thyroid is IMPORTANT and it can definitely wreak havoc on the way you feel from head to toe.  So, let's not GUESS, let's TEST.  Contact me at info@drerinellis for more info.  Or, if you are ready to schedule your consult do so HERE.

I look forward to helping you achieve your BEST health in 2020!

~Dr. E



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