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Millions of people around the world who suffer with thyroid issues are are not even aware of their condition. The thyroid is an extremely important gland in our body. It is located at the front of your neck and it is one of our largest endocrine glands. Every cell in your body has receptors for thyroid hormone. Those receptors control oxygen consumption, protein synthesis, digestion, growth, reproductive health, and much more. The thyroid itself produces three major hormones Triiodothyronine (T3), Thyroxine (T4) and Calcitonin.The latter one is responsible for our bodys ability to absorb calcium. T3 and T4 play a much bigger role in our system. T4 can be converted to T3 by the liver, gut, muscles, and thyroid gland itself and T4 production level is typically higher than T3.
The thyroid is controlled by the pituitary gland and when there is the right amount of T4 in our bodies, the pituitary stops producing Thyrotropin (TSH), the thyroid-stimulating hormone needed when levels of T4 are not sufficient. As a result of that signal, the thyroid can stop making T4 until our bodies need more of it. TSH is released by the pituitary gland to stimulate T4 production when the body recognizes the need for more. Your thyroid gland is very susceptible to chemical disruptions that can cause hormone levels to get out of balance. Hypothyroidism is a condition caused by low thyroid hormone levels, hyperthyroidism is the exact opposite (too much activity). Hypothyroid patients suffer from weight gain, feeling cold and tired. Hyperthyroid causes weight loss and hot flashes. These problems often go undiagnosed, as most people don’t attribute these symptoms to the gland itself.
There are also two autoimmune disorders linked to the thyroid: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves disease. With Graves disease, your immune system basically attacks your own body, in this case, your body is tricked into thinking that your thyroid gland is the enemy and is attacked by high T4 production, leading to hyperthyroidism and destroying thyroid cells. In the most serious cases the whole gland is so severely damaged it is not able to function anymore. Hashimoto’s, on the other hand, causes inflammation of the thyroid gland, making it less active and hypothyroid.
Thyroid health should be on your radar even if you don’t recognize any of the symptoms mentioned earlier. For example if you have mercury amalgam dental fillings, chances are your thyroid might be in trouble. Mercury, slowly released from the fillings into your body, is the second most toxic compound on the planet, yet there are some dentists who still use it and people who have their mouths full of these fillings. Mercury, as well as other heavy metals, binds minerals to their molecules. When our body gets rid of heavy metals via urine, those minerals are taken away with them, therefore making those vital nutrients unavailable to our bodies. Constant mineral depletion leads to deficiency, which can cause various health problems including osteoporosis, kidney dysfunction, fatigue, or decreased function of the immune system.
To work properly, the thyroid needs a certain amount of two elements iodine and selenium. Both of these minerals are heavy metal chelators, meaning that they bind to heavy metals and remove them from the body. Because of this we can get very deficient in both iodine and selenium, especially if we are carrying a heavy metal load from fillings or environmental toxins (like from working in industrial settings). It is nearly impossible for us to get sufficient levels of iodine and selenium from our food, and for that reason we have to supplement. Minerals and other elements are best absorbed into our bodies when ingested in their natural form, along with other nutrients that are naturally bound to them. One of the best sources of iodine for example is sea food, and you can get your daily selenium dose from just two brazil nuts provided they were grown in the soil that is rich in selenium!
Explore more thyroid secrets and learn about natural solutions to keep your thyroid in excellent condition by taking the natural approach, choosing the right foods and supplements. Get to know your thyroid! To learn more, you can also listen to related podcast episode.