What does the Thyroid Do?

The thyroid gland is situated in the middle part of the neck and it is so important that humans cannot live without the hormones it produces.  It is responsible for the metabolic rate and function of the whole body – energy, weight control, mood, digestion, thought processes, muscle tone, hair texture, menstrual cycle… to name a few.  The thyroid secretes thyroid hormones that tell cells and organs what to do.  There are varying levels of thyroid dysfunction which are measured by looking at the blood levels of these hormones.

TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone is released in the brain and sends a message to the thyroid to make thyroid hormones.  These hormones travel to the cells and trigger more thyroid hormones and thus balance metabolism.  In cases of an over-active thyroid, people suffer from anxiety, insomnia, have heart palpitations, weight loss and usually fast digestion.  This can lead to a life-threatening condition and is treated as a medical emergency.  When a person has an under-active thyroid they tend to gain weight easily, feel sluggish and tired, suffer from depression and/or brain fog and often have constipation.  This is called hypothyroidism and there are varying degrees ranging from subclinical to auto-immune mediated.

At Vitalia, we do lab testing that looks at all of the blood markers of thyroid health including several types of thyroid hormone (T3, T4, rT3) and the antibodies that are present in auto-immune thyroiditis (also known as Hashimoto’s disease).  Often medical doctors are unable to provide more than the standard TSH test which leaves the actual thyroid levels unknown.  If levels are found to be below optimum, there are both prescriptive and supplemental treatments that may be appropriate to correct imbalances.  It is important to take a look at whole body health when treating a thyroid condition – digestive function, adrenal and sex hormone levels should be evaluated in order to determine the root cause.  For more information, please contact the clinic.

Dr. Jennifer Luis BSc, BEd, ND

Also Read These Related Pages

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How Supporting Your Thyroid Can Help You Achieve Your Wellness Goals
January is Thyroid Awareness Month!
Stres Impact on Thyroid
Low energy? How thyroid conditions can be overlooked.
Vancouver Thyroid Centre

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