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- The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the front of the neck and is really important for energy regulation.
- It produces thyroid hormones which are secreted into the bloodstream and then act as messengers, affecting cells and tissues and regulating many processes in the body.
- We can use the analogy of a car when talking about the thyroid hormones: when the thyroid gland is working properly, the car is driving smoothly and there’s just the right amount of pressure on the accelerator pedal.
- Within the body the thyroid hormones regulate our metabolism, keep our energy levels high, aid good sleep, regulate our bowels, and aid digestion.
- When the thyroid hormones are not balanced and are running too high, it is akin to pushing down hard on the accelerator.
- This leads to symptoms such as diarrhea, agitation, light or no periods, hunger, disrupted sleep, fast speech, and a “hyper” mood.
- When the thyroid gland is sluggish and underactive, it is similar to pushing down on the brakes of the car.
- The individual will feel sleepy, tired, low in mood, have long heavy periods, be constipated, gain weight, and have a low appetite.
- They can also have dry skin and their hair can become thin or fall out.