Your Thyroid....The Master Metabolism Switch
The Metabolism Master Switch
Until you start to experience problems with your thyroid, you don’t really think much about it. Some people don’t even know it exists at all! But the thyroid actually plays a major role in your overall health and wellbeing. So here are the basics you need to know about your ‘metabolism master switch’.
What is the thyroid?
The thyroid is a gland that is shaped like a little butterfly. It’s located just below the Adam’s apple. Despite being small, it is a very complex gland, and is essential for life. If you don’t have the hormones that the thyroid produces, your body will shut down.
Every cell, tissue and organ in the body relies on the thyroid in some way. It runs the metabolism of the whole body – how fast or slow the chemical reactions occur.
Unfortunately, the thyroid is also a very vulnerable gland. It is a sponge for toxins such as heavy metals, soaking them up and becoming damaged in the process. Many factors can influence the thyroid’s function, including stress, gut health and nutrient status. Crash-dieting can also be another common factor in a sluggish thyroid.
The symptoms of thyroid dysfunction
No two cases of thyroid dysfunction are the same. We all have different vulnerabilities in the body, so when the master metabolism switch goes wonky, different body parts are at risk.
With that being said, some of the most common signs of hypothyroidism (slow thyroid) include:
Slow weight gain
Intolerance to cold
PMS and other hormonal imbalances
Common signs of hyperthyroidism (fast thyroid) include:
‘Tired but wired’ feeling
Intolerance to heat
Rapid heart rate
Steps for optimising thyroid health
Any thyroid dysfunction should always be diagnosed and treated by a qualified practitioner. But if you suspect your thyroid is a little bit out of whack, here are some steps you can take to optimise its health.
Go gluten-free – the problem with gluten is that part of it closely resembles the thyroid tissue. So if gluten makes its way into the bloodstream, the immune system can react. As a result, it may attack the thyroid while trying to attack the gluten particle. This is a common factor in autoimmune thyroid conditions.
Work out your food intolerances – many of us have mild intolerances that might not do much to a healthy body. But if your thyroid is misbehaving, every time you consume something you’re intolerant, you trigger your immune system. And since your immune system’s instinct is to attack your thyroid, you make the damage worse. To learn more about how to find out your food intolerance, see here.
Support your gut health – this is a big one when it comes to thyroid health. Your gut health influences your immune system and your nutrition, so keeping it happy is a key strategy. To get started towards a healthy gut, make sure you eat slowly and mindfully, and eat mostly wholefoods.
Remember that the best answer is always to get your thyroid tested and work with a practitioner, so you know what you’re working with!
As a qualified practitioner, I work with clients to identify and manage their thyroid issues. If you think your thyroid is a problem, book in an appointment and we will work together to get you feeling good again!