what is hypothyroidism?
Our thyroid glands are located in our neck. Its main job is to produce hormones that regulate our metabolism. When our thyroid is out of sync, it creates one of two conditions:
Hyperthyroidism, which is where the gland is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone, and,
Hypothyroidism, where the gland is underactive and doesn’t produce sufficient thyroid hormone.
In this article, we will look at hypothyroidism (also known as an underactive thyroid) and how it can be treated.
The thyroid gland produces hormones that affect your metabolism. Think of it like a car accelerator. If you have an overactive thyroid gland, it is like you are pressing the accelerator too hard – everything is revved up. Conversely, an underactive thyroid is like pressing the brake too hard – everything is slowed down.
The brain produces TSH – Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, which sends a message to the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormone. The thyroid produces thyroid hormone in two forms. The two main types it produces are called T3 and T4. It also produces smaller amounts of the hormones T1 and T2. (The medical profession is still learning about these hormones and how they work, but they believe that T2 may be important in fat burning, blood sugar control and losing weight,1 while T1 may have a protective role for our hearts.)2
85% of the hormone produced by the thyroid gland is T4 (thyroxine), but it is relatively less active than its counterpart T3, yet T3 is much more active in the ways it affects the body. T4 is converted by tissues in the body (liver, brain and gut) into T3.
If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, this means that…