The Importance of Thyroid Health by Stephen Lau

posted on 31 May 2014 07:33 by willingagnostic77

Thyroid health is overall health and wellness. Unfortunately, more than 20 million Americans have a thyroid disorder -- or one in ten is affected by some sort of a thyroid problem. If, unfortunately, you have a thyroid disease, you are not alone.

The worst part of thyroid disorders is that there is a lack of public awareness of the importance of thyroid health. This may be due to many cases of undiagnosed thyroid disease, or the similarity of thyroid disorder symptoms with other disease symptoms. Thyroid health is overall health.

What is a thyroid disorder, or what is the thyroid gland?

Your thyroid gland is at the front part of your throat, just below your voice box. It is the size of a hen's egg. A thyroid disorder or disease occurs when your thyroid gland malfunctions.

The thyroid gland has many functions with respect of your overall health. It is responsible for your growth and development through its production of hormones and protein for muscle growth. Your thyroid hormones regulate your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is responsible for your body weight. If you are on a strict diet, and yet you continue to gain instead of losing weight, it may be due to a malfunctioning thyroid. Your thyroid hormones maintain your mental alertness as well as balancing your moods. Therefore, optimum thyroid health is the foundation of good mental health. Thyroid health also affects your heart health in that your thyroid gland controls your heart rate.

In short, your thyroid health is responsible for the health of nearly every cell and organ in your body. Through its absorption of iodine from the bloodstream, your thyroid gland produces hormones that help your body cells and organs convert oxygen and calories into energy. The major function of your thyroid gland is to maintain a hormone balance by a feedback loop system. That is, when there is too much hormone production, your brain signals your thyroid gland to decrease the release of thyroid hormones. The importance of thyroid gland cannot be overstated.

The most common thyroid disorder occurs when the thyroid gland is underactive (also known as hypothyroidism). In other words, the body is doing all its best to stay healthy, but there are simply insufficient thyroid hormones to maintain its proper functioning. As a result, the entire body is adversely affected, resulting in absence of general wellness. If you have an underactive thyroid gland, you eat less but still gain more. Loss of appetite or weight gain is one of the most noticeable signs of impaired thyroid health. Another common symptom is fatigue. Unfortunately, this is also the easiest symptom to dismiss, because you may attribute it to depression, which is a concomitant of underactive thyroid disorder. Given that insufficient thyroid hormones in the blood may adversely affect your brain health, you may also experience diminished intellectual function, memory loss, lack of concentration, and even decrease in sex drive. Thyroid health plays a pivotal part in brain health because it supplies oxygen and nutrients to the brain, without which the functioning of the brain is considerably compromised.

Thyroid disease affects both men and women. However, women have more problems with their thyroid health than men, and women are five to eight times more likely to be diagnosed with thyroid disease than men. Irrespective of your gender, thyroid health is important to your overall health and wellness. If you experience a decline in wellness, report your concerns to your doctor, and have your thyroid gland checked to see if there is any problem with your thyroid health.

Copyright (c) 2010 Stephen Lau