Everything You Didn’t Know About Your Thyroid

Just two inches long, the diminutive thyroid gland that’s located on the lower front portion of your neck, belies the critical processes it regulates in your body. The hormones it produces impact your metabolism and weight, heart rate, breathing, digestive function, and if you’re a woman, even your menstrual cycle.

As part of your endocrine system — the glands that produce hormones — the thyroid is part of an intricate chemical messaging system that keeps your organs functioning properly and your body chugging along. When something with your thyroid goes awry, however, your health can be affected in numerous ways.

At Regenerative Health & Wellness Medical Center, Dr. Steven Foley and Dr. Jacob Holdren take a proactive approach to addressing thyroid disorders. They develop a treatment plan especially for you that’s customized so your thyroid — and your body — can get back into equilibrium again. 

Lesser-known facts about your thyroid

There are some surprising things about what the thyroid does and how it can malfunction and cause health problems. Fortunately, Dr. Holdren and Dr Foley have a wealth of experience treating patients suffering from thyroid conditions. 

  1.  Thyroid Imbalance

Your thyroid can either become underactive or overactive. The underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) symptom that most people know about is weight gain. Conversely, when you think overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), sudden or unexplained weight loss comes to mind.

What many don’t realize about an overactive thyroid is that the imbalance heavily affects your mood. It can make you anxious and even cause you to experience problems focusing and brain fog. 

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include fatigue, constipation, and a highly unusual symptom: hair loss specifically on the outer edges of your eyebrows!

  2.  Thyroid shape and size

The thyroid is shaped in the form of a butterfly. It’s also only a bit larger than a quarter.

  3.  Your thyroid is iodine-dependent

Iodine is simply a mineral, but one that your thyroid depends on to keep running smoothly. It’s found naturally in certain dairy foods like cottage cheese, cod, and seaweed, and it’s added to table salt. 

When you suffer from an iodine deficiency, your thyroid swells and you develop a potentially unsightly inflammation of your neck called goiter. This problem was more common in past ages when peoples’ diets were more limited and table salt wasn’t iodized. 

  4.  The thyroid can be affected by cancer

There are several types of thyroid cancer, and though the cause of most cases is still unknown, it can sometimes be linked to genetic factors. It’s three times more common in women, and on average, people are diagnosed with it at younger ages than other cancers. 

A visual assessment by your doctor, a manual palpation of your thyroid, blood tests, imaging tests, and biopsies all play roles in diagnosing thyroid cancer. Treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation, targeted drug therapy, and more. 

  5.  It’s possible to live without your thyroid

From all we’ve said about your thyroid’s importance, you might assume that you couldn’t live without it. Actually, partial or full removal of your thyroid (thyroidectomy) is performed if you have thyroid cancer, goiter, or hyperthyroidism. 

If you just have a partial thyroidectomy, your thyroid may return to working normally, but if it’s completely removed, you need thyroid hormone treatment daily, which does the job that your thyroid used to do. 

Despite being small, your thyroid is nonetheless mighty. It can withstand distress and even surgical alteration, and still keep serving you well.

Our approach to thyroid disorder treatment

At Regenerative Health & Wellness Medical Center, we perform a comprehensive blood panel, which helps us develop a personalized treatment plan. Additionally, we take an exhaustive personal and family health history to better understand your condition. 

Because of the thyroid’s role in directing your metabolism, you may be struggling with losing weight if your thyroid’s underactive. This is particularly discouraging when you make every effort to eat right and exercise daily. If you’ve got an undiscovered problem, we can help, and our medical weight loss services take thyroid imbalance into consideration. 

We can help correct your thyroid imbalance by advising you on lifestyle changes and, if necessary, prescribing medication. 

Since our approach to wellness includes both alternative and conventional medical approaches, we work to find the best combination of treatments for you so that you can reach optimal wellness. For example, chiropractic sessions can help ease patients’ thyroid symptoms by enhancing blood circulation and reducing muscle tension.

There’s no reason to continue wondering if symptoms you’re experiencing may have to do with your thyroid. 

Call the Regenerative Health & Wellness Medical Center office that’s most convenient to you and schedule an appointment, or use our easy online booking tool

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