Chen Ben Asher – Functional Nutrition – Silicon Valley – Thyroid gland – General Function and Description

A lot of people probably have heard about kidney functions and other information related to it but the thyroid gland function and what it is itself in many cases is less clear. Where can you find it and what is the use of it? Well, it’s not that complicated as the word appears to be. The thyroid gland is an important part of the body. Its location is at the front neck area and has different functions and effects throughout the body. The gland itself looks like a butterfly, but there is much more behind the shape. It is worth knowing more about it to understand better the importance of thyroid gland and everything connected to its healthy functioning.

The main function that thyroid gland does it that it produces thyroid hormones. Iodine is used to make these hormones. Thyroid hormones are important for the function of every body cell.

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Thyroid main functions:

  • To help to regulate growth
  • Regulate the rate of chemical reactions (metabolism)
  • Take part in the circadian rhythms that govern sleep and other essential functions[1]

Metabolism itself consists of chemical processes “through which the body breaks down and uses energy.” [2] The thyroid makes two types of hormone: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). 10%-20% of hormones produced are T3, but T4 needs conversion to T3 to the body to be able to use it. Apart from all that, the thyroid gland itself regulates the speed of other biochemical reactions that happen in the body. So it is not a surprise that dysfunction of the thyroid gland can lead to different health problems the most common of which being fatigue.

The thyroid gland also produces sex hormones which also have importance in anyone body. Hormone synthization with the iodine occours. You might ask where the body gets it. The answer is simple – it is possible to obtain it by food like eating seaweed. The body has to keep thyroid hormone levels in blood in level, and there are systems how to achieve it. Mainly it is with “thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), secreted by a part of the brain called the pituitary gland.”[3]

When the level of thyroid hormones in the blood is too high, the TSH from the pituitary gland is reduced and works like a thermostat that prohibits secretion of thyroid hormones. But if the level of thyroid hormone is not enough, the TSH increases to induce the secretion of thyroid hormones. This mechanism’s name is “feedback mechanism” that usually allows maintaining the normal level of thyroid hormones in the blood.

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The thyroid gland is an important organ in any human body, and it is important to understand its function. What you eat and your lifestyle has a significant influence on consumption of iodine for the thyroid hormone production. If its levels get out of order, fatigue, weight change, muscle and joint pains, high cholesterol levels and other problems can kick in.




[1] Definition of Thyroid hormones. Accessed from: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=5780rel=”nofollow”

[2] Thyroid. Accessed from: http://kellmancenter.com/conditions-we-treat/thyroid/rel=”nofollow”

[3] The function of the thyroid gland. Accessed from: http://www.ito-hospital.jp/english/02_thyroid_disease/02_2function_of_thyroid.htmlrel=”nofollow”

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