Posted by Nicole on July 10
At some point in your life, there is a chance your doctor has talked to you about thyroid health. But you may not actually be sure what your thyroid is or what it does.
Your thyroid is a gland located in your neck toward the front. It measures around 2 inches, and has a shape that looks a bit like a butterfly. It produces hormones called T-3 and T-4, which play regulatory roles in your body.
What are some of those roles? Let’s take a closer look.
1. Regulating metabolism.
For one thing, your thyroid helps to control your metabolism. The British Thyroid Foundation explains, “The T4, or rather the T3 derived from it, and the T3 secreted directly by the thyroid gland influence the metabolism of your body cells. In other words, it regulates the speed with which your body cells work.”
Your metabolism effects:
- How you digest your food.
- How fast or slow your heart beats.
- Your body temperature.
- How hard your heart beats.
- Weight gain or loss.
- Growth and brain maturation in children.
2. Regulating your reproductive system.
Along with regulating your metabolism, your thyroid also regulates how your reproductive system works.
Eagles Landing OB/GYN says that for women, “Your thyroid helps to preserve the normal function of the ovaries and the maturation of the eggs on a monthly basis.” The site also explains that sperm quality can be influenced by the thyroid in men.
While most of the effects of the thyroid fall into the two broad categories above, the thyroid has other roles and functions as well. As University of Michigan Health explains, “Thyroid hormones affect every cell and all the organs of the body.”
3. Additional Roles
While most of the functions the site lists are the same as those we have already gone over, they list a couple more. These include regulating muscle contractions and the rate at which your body replaces dying cells.
Penn Medicine also points out some additional roles of the thyroid. For instance, your thyroid influences your energy levels. So, when your thyroid is functioning at its best, you are less likely to feel fatigued.
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Your thyroid function needs to be optimal in order for balance to be maintained in your endocrine system. That is why it is so important to eat right for your thyroid and make other healthy lifestyle choices.
If you have any concerns about your thyroid, you should speak to a medical professional. You can also keep exploring our blog archive for additional tips and tricks for supporting thyroid health.