How Hyperthyroidism Affects The Body

How Hyperthyroidism Affects The Body

The human body produces more than 100 different hormones originating in various endocrine glands. This vast array of hormones is responsible for countless functions in the body and it can be a little overwhelming to understand them all so we are going to highlight just a few “major players” that have a significant impact on women’s health.

Thyroid
The thyroid gland, located in the neck, uses iodine from food and the amino acid called tyrosine to produce two thyroid hormones called T3 and T4. The main function of these thyroid hormones is to control metabolism. Every cell in the body relies on T3 and T4 to convert oxygen and calories into energy.

When thyroid levels in the body are too low the pituitary gland produces thyroid stimulating hormone, or TSH, which then stimulates the thyroid to produce more hormones. As levels of T3 and T4 in the blood rise, the pituitary gland decreases production of TSH, thereby signalling the thyroid to stop producing more hormones, creating a feedback loop.

Unfortunately, the thyroid gland can over or under function.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone. This can be caused by an autoimmune disorder called Graves disease, by lumps or nodules in the thyroid gland, by inflammation of the thyroid gland, or by consuming too much iodine. When the thyroid gland is overactive, the body’s processes speed up which can lead to nervousness, anxiety, accelerated heart rate, shaking, weight loss, and sleep problems.

While often treated with anti-thyroid drugs, nutritional changes can also help support thyroid health. A low-iodine diet is important in treating hyperthyroidism as iodine plays a key role in the production of thyroid hormones. Avoid foods such as fish, seafood, seaweed, kelp, and iodized salt. Other nutrients essential for overall thyroid health are iron, selenium, zinc, calcium, and vitamin D. Turmeric and black pepper have anti-inflammatory properties and support thyroid function. And as always, eat plenty of health fats which are essential for overall healthy hormone production.

Every cell in your body has thyroid hormone receptors, so it is essential to keep the levels of these hormones in good supply for optimal metabolism, energy, and health.
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