20 Reasons Your Thyroid Is More Important Than You Ever Imagined

Not feeling frisky lately? That could be your thyroid talking.

20 Reasons Your Thyroid Is More Important Than You Ever Imagined

Not feeling frisky lately? That could be your thyroid talking.

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When you think of important body parts, chances are, the usual suspects come to mind. Your brain, your heart, your lungs. But more and more research is indicating that a certain prolific hormone producer deserves to be part of that “essential organs” echelon. Yes, we’re talking about your thyroid, the tiny, monarch-shaped gland nestled right below your larynx.

When it comes to your body and how it functions, the thyroid affects it all—from your skin to your muscles to the hormonal levels of each individual organ. (It’s also a huge indicator of how you perform in the bedroom.) So read on and see why this thing you’ve never given a second thought to deserves your attention. And for more startling health advice, read up on The Common Everyday Over-the-Counter Drug That Could Give You A Heart Attack.

doctor thyroid

1
It Produces Essential Hormones

The thyroid produces two important hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones essentially travel around the body and help regulate the metabolism of each part of the body, right on down to cell metabolism. T3 and T4 affect every tissue in your body. In other words, your thyroid is extremely important. And for great ways to take care of this all-important gland, here are 20 Ways to Have a Healthier Thyroid. 

stretching thyroid

2
It Keeps Your Bones Tough

In addition to T3 and T4, your thyroid produces a hormone called calcitonin. According to the American Thyroid Association, this hormone is used to regulate the osteoclasts in the bones. Osteoclasts are essential for bone repair and upkeep—and they prevent hypercalcemia by helping keep your blood-calcium levels in check.

sex libido thyroid

3
It Can Dampen Your Libido

If you just haven’t been feeling it lately, it may be caused by a thyroid problem. See, T3 and T4 levels affect your libido. Per some experts, low levels of those hormones can plummet your sex drive. Your thyroid should regulate that on its own. But if you’re still not feeling it, try cutting out processed food: That’s a surefire way to increase your T3 and T4 levels. And if you’re just interested in boosting your friskiness, try eating the 7 Magic Superfoods That Will Supercharge Your Libido.

headache desk at night thyroid

4
It Keeps Headaches at Bay

A 2016 study found that there was a significant link between people with frequent headaches and migraines and those with a thyroid hormone deficiency. So you can thank your thyroid for keeping your head relaxed and focused today—or you can blame it for causing your cranium to hurt on a day-to-day basis.

deadlift skeletal muscles thyroid

5
It Helps Keep Skeletal Muscles Strong

Your thyroid plays a key part in the regeneration of your skeletal muscles. According to a 2013 study published in Nature Reviews Endocrinology, researchers found that, without the T3 hormone, your muscles can’t fully repair themselves. Considering skeletal muscles make up 30 to 40 percent of your body’s mass, that should be reason enough to keep your thyroid healthy.

waking up thyroid

6
It Helps You Feel Awake

In addition to a regular good night’s sleep, your thyroid can be the thing to thank for how alert you felt this morning. When your T3 and T4 levels get too high, your heart races, you will feel tired quicker, and, chances are, you won’t be able to optimize on your day. But when your thyroid is working normally, it will protect you from that inevitable 2:30 p.m. feeling. And if you’re feeling mid-day malaise from a non-thyroid cause, try out The Single Best Way to Conquer Your Afternoon Slump.

metabolism thyroid

7
It Regulates Your Metabolism

To put it (very) simply, the metabolic process is that of converting food or fuel into usable energy. The thyroid hormone plays a huge role in that process. According to a 2013 review published in the European Thyroid Journal, thyroid hormones manage the body’s metabolism, down to each cell, keeping them all running smoothly. And for more ways to make the most of this essential process, check out The Single Best Way to Boost Your Metabolism Every Day.

woman mirror skin thyroid

8
It Affects The Thickness of Your Skin

T3 and T4 are important regulators of the homeostasis of your skin’s epidermal. Having too little will lower the thickness of your top layer of skin —also known as your skin’s protection from the outside world, especially the sun. Having a healthy thyroid will help you avoid the damage that’s caused by thinning skin. And if you want to look your very best, here are 50 Ways to Look Red Carpet Ready. 

man acne skin thyroid

9
It Can Stop Acne

A 2012 study in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology found there to be a link between your thyroid hormones and adult acne. So if you have been breaking out more than usual, the problem might be more than skin-deep: It could be a thyroid hormone deficiency. And for great ways to keep a your youthful glow, here are 40 Ways to Guarantee Healthy Skin After 40. 

temperature thyroid

10
It’s In Charge of Your Body Temperature

A 2013 study out of the Karolinska Institutet found that mice who were given lower levels of T3 and T4 had lower body temperatures. Your thyroid controls how much your blood vessels dilate. When the vessels are more dilated, more heat can escape. In other words, your body temperature will go down. So you can thank your thyroid for how your body adapts to temperature.

running heart beat thyroid

11
It Keeps Your Heartbeat Regulated

The thyroid hormone also helps keep your heart rate in a normal range—and at a normal strength. A study in the Embo Journal found that mice who had less access to thyroid hormones had a 20 percent lower heartbeat than those with a normal hormone exposure. This is because, with a deficiency, the arteries become less elastic and it takes longer for blood to circulate.

heart attack thyroid

12
It Protects You From Heart Palpitations

Having too much of the hormone can be a problem too; your thyroid controls how much T3 and T4 goes to your heart. According to Doctor Ruchi Mathur, MD, if your heart has too much thyroid hormone, it can make your heart beat faster and harder, which can then cause abnormal heart rhythms and can even cause heart palpitations.

keep calm relax get to it chill out look younger

13
It Affects Your Blood Pressure, Too

A review by the Mayo Clinic found that having either too much or too little T3 and T4 can raise your blood pressure—even to the point of secondary hypertension. So that’s a great reason to make sure your thyroid is always operating correctly. If you find your levels rising, try out any of the 10 Best Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure.

cholesterol thyroid

14
It Keeps Your Cholesterol Balanced

Thyroid hormones play a big role in the regulation of cholesterol as well. A study in the Clinical Thyroidology For Patients found a strong link between thyroid hormone levels and cholesterol levels. High cholesterol, of course, can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and aortal aneurysms.

weight loss thyroid

15
It Helps Keep Your Weight In Check

Your T3 and T4 levels affect your BMR—or your base metabolic rate. According to a 2013 review in the Journal of Clinical Research in Pediatric Endocrinology, studies have shown that affecting your BMR will directly result in a change of body weight. People who are deficient in thyroid hormones stand a greater chance at gaining weight because their body won’t be able to convert energy intake into usable energy as quickly.

reading thyroid

16
It Keeps Your Brain Sharp

A 2015 study on Thyroidmanager found that there is a strong link between thyroid hormones and brain function. Your brain needs these hormones to help it continuously change and develop. So if you want to remain wise beyond your years, keeping your thyroid healthy and active is a must.

woman relaxing thyroid

17
It Helps Keep you Clear Mentally

It’s not all about your body. Your thyroid—and the hormones it produces—affect you mentally, as well. Lower levels of T3 and T4 can cause mental illnesses such as depression or mood swings, while, if it is in excess, your mind might race endless or experience sudden anxiety.

stomach ache thyroid

18
It Affects Your Digestion

Your thyroid plays a role in making sure the food you take in, well, goes out just as easily. According to a study from the World Journal of Gastroenterology, having high levels of T3 and T4 can cause digestive issues, such as diarrhea.

heart burn thyroid

19
It Keeps Your Liver Bile Flowing Smoothly

A study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that, when you have lower levels of thyroid hormones, your body has a harder time moving bile through the digestive tract. This can lead to some serious heartburn.

lower back pain thyroid

20
Your Thyroid Is Connected To Your Joint Pain

According to the Mayo Clinic, you can experience joint and muscle pains and aches if you have a low T3 and T4 levels. Feeling sore? That might be more than post-workout fatigue. And for more great health advice, don’t miss the 40 Ways Your Body Changes After 40.

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