5 Things You Might Not Know About Your Thyroid

5 Things You Might Not Know About Your Thyroid - 5 Things You Might Not Know About Your Thyroid

The thyroid is a small, but vitally important gland located in the front of the neck, just above the collarbone. As part of the endocrine system, the hormones produced by the thyroid have an effect on every cell and all organs of the body. Since the thyroid gland’s functions are so broad and all­encompassing, there are several things that you might not know about this part of the human body. Here are just a few things you might not know about the thyroid gland.

It Regulates Metabolism
The hormones T3 and T4 regulate how fast the intestines process food as well as the heart rate. Therefore, if your levels of T3 and T4 are low, you may have a slower heart rate and/or issues with constipation and weight gain. Conversely, high levels of T3 and T4 would result in a faster heart rate and issues with diarrhea and weight loss.

It Controls Your Body Temperature
Too much T3 and T4 in your body (also referred to as hyperthyroidism), can cause sweating or sensitivity to high temperatures. Too little T3 and T4 in your body (also referred to as hypothyroidism) can cause sensitivity to cold temperatures.

Nodules in the Thyroid are Very Common
Thyroid Nodules could be detected in nearly 40­50% of otherwise completely healthy adults. In fact, many are so small that they are never detected. In most cases, we do not understand why they develop or what causes them to grow or stay the same size. The majority of these nodules are benign (noncancerous). While they usually do not cause symptoms or problems in patients, all thyroid nodules need to be evaluated by a doctor.

Thyroid Issues are More Prevalent in Women than in Men
Thyroid nodules in particular are about three times more common in women than men and about 50% of women over age 50 years have a them.

It can affect Your Sleep
Both Hyper­ and Hypothyroidism can have a negative effect on how you sleep. Hyperthyroidism can cause anxiety and hyperactivity, while hypothyroidism can cause trouble sleeping despite also causing tiredness and fatigue.

If you have any issues, questions, or concerns about your thyroid gland, you should contact your doctor immediately