The thyroid is a small gland found in front of the neck right below the larynx, or adam’s apple.
The function of the thyroid has to do with any bodily functions involving speed or rate. Some examples are thyroid influence on metabolism, heart rate, respiration rate, peristalsis (movement of food through digestive system), and body temperature. The thyroid can influence the function of the heart, brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, digestive system, and skin.
The thyroid is influenced by the stimulation of the HPA Axis (The interaction between Hypothalamus and the Pituitary and Adrenal glands). The hypothalamus, located in the brain under the thalamus, secretes Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone (TRH) which stimulates the pituitary gland. This gland secretes Thyroid Stimulation Hormone (TSH), which in turn stimulates the thyroid to produce T4 (thyroxine) which then travels to the liver to be converted to T3 (triiodothyronine). Some T4 – T3 conversion occurs in the kidneys. Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) is an enzyme required to help for T4 and T3.
Evaluation of the function of the thyroid via blood lab should always include checking the TSH, T4, T3 TPO. Without these tests, a full evaluation of the thyroid is impossible in order to treat any issues.
When the thyroid becomes diseased, it’s function decreases (hypothyroidism), or increases, (hyperthyroidism). Hashimoto disease is an example of hypothyroidism as an autoimmune disease, and Graves’ disease an example of a hyperthyroidism autoimmune disease. Dysfunction of the thyroid can also occur without being an autoimmune response.
Some Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Conditions
Fatigue Loss of outer 1/3 of eyebrows
Constipation Weight gain or loss
Depression Cold hands or feet
Memory loss Low body temperature
Trouble concentrating Loss or thinning of hair
Blood pressure changes Dry skin
If you have some of these symptoms or know that your lab values are off, please call for an appointment for a complete functional analysis of your thyroid so that we can provide proper treatment.
Yours in health
Dr. Don T. Henderson, DC,CCSP