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  • Writer's pictureLiz Riesen, RD

What Does the Thyroid Do in the Body?

Thyroid disease affects approximately 30 million Americans, half of whom either don’t know they have a thyroid problem or who have been misdiagnosed.

If not diagnosed, and therefore untreated, thyroid disorders can cause conditions such as: depression, anxiety, muscle weakness, chronic fatigue, weight gain or loss, hair loss, and more.

The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that help the body regulate its metabolism. Your doctor may have ordered a TSH level on you if they believe a thyroid disorder may be present. TSH stands for, thyroid stimulating hormone and is actually released by the pituitary gland in the brain. The pituitary gland in the brain is responsible for stimulating the thyroid gland to release hormones T3 and T4.

When these glands are not working properly, they can cause the body’s system to speed up (hyperthyroidism) or slow down (hypothyroidism). Autoimmune conditions can develop if the immune system gets overwhelmed. Thyroid autoimmune conditions are Hashimoto's (most common) and Grave's disease. It is important to have a comprehensive panel completed if you are suffering from chronic conditions below, or if you have a family history.

Common Symptoms with Thyroid Disorders

  • Fatigue

  • Weakness

  • Intolerance to cold

  • Muscle aches and cramps

  • Constipation

  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight

  • Poor appetite

  • Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)

  • Dry, rough skin

  • Coarse hair or hair loss

  • Eye and face swelling

  • Deeper and/or hoarse voice

  • Enlarged tongue

  • Irregular or heavy menstrual periods

  • Depression

  • Memory loss

  • Slowed thinking and mental activity

  • Increased blood cholesterol levels

Schedule Your Own Comprehensive Thyroid Test

Click Here to order a comprehensive thyroid panel. Thyroid Health - Advanced - will test TSH, T3 Reverse (RT3)T3 TotalT3, FreeT4 (Thyroxine) TotalT4, FreeThyroid Peroxidase and Thyroglobulin Antibodies

Why test for these levels?

  • T3 Reverse is produced in the thyroid comes from the conversion of the storage hormone T4. Your body, especially the liver, can constantly be converting T4 to RT3 as a way to get rid of any unneeded T4

  • T3 Total (Triiodothyronine) is a thyroid hormone. It plays an important role in the body's control of metabolism.

  • T3 Uptake also known as Thyroid Uptake, estimates how much thyroid hormone-binding proteins are available in the blood

  • T3 Free measures the amount of triiodothyronine, or T3, in the blood.

  • T4 Total measures the amount of thyroxine, or T4, in the blood. T4 is one of two major hormones produced by the thyroid gland

  • T4 Free is the active form of thyroxine, the free T4 test is may be a more accurate reflection of thyroid hormone function

  • Thyroid Peroxidase and Thyroglobulin Antibodies Measurement of thyroglobulin antibodies is useful in the diagnosis and management of a variety of thyroid disorders including Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves Disease and certain types of goiter

  • TSH is a lab test that measures the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in your blood. TSH is produced by the pituitary gland. It tells the thyroid gland to make and release thyroid hormones into the blood.

Want to learn more, or receive recommendations specific to you? Reach out today and schedule an initial consult to review your current health status and learn how you can optimize your diet.

In health and happiness - Liz



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