Many people wonder about the relationship between the thyroid gland and metabolism. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones which are important in controlling how the body uses energy. An imbalance of these hormones can cause many symptoms, from fatigue to heart problems, including high blood pressure and rapid heart rate. Thyroid disease is often associated with other endocrine disorders affecting metabolism, such as type 2 diabetes, adrenal insufficiency, and pituitary disorders. 


Thyroid disorders involve a disruption in the production of hormones by the thyroid gland. The pituitary gland produces thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and helps to control how much thyroid hormone the thyroid gland produces. When there is an imbalance in TSH levels, it can cause a chemical called thyroid to be over or under-produced.  


Various thyroid disorders can affect metabolism in multiple ways for people of all ages. Hashimotos Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder that causes thyroid gland inflammation and can lead to either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, the most common symptom of an overactive thyroid. 


Hyperthyroidism is a condition where too much thyroid hormone is produced, leading to increased metabolism and other symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, heart palpitations, irritability, and weight loss. Hypothyroidism occurs when too little thyroid hormone is produced, resulting in a slower metabolism and fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, depression, and other symptoms. Hyperthyroidism can cause weight loss, nervousness, anxiety, and rapid heartbeat in adults and children.  


Diagnosis and treatment 


Thyroid disorders can be diagnosed through a simple blood test that measures the levels of thyroid hormones in the body. Thyroid blood tests measure the number of thyroid hormones in the blood. If the results suggest an abnormality, your doctor might order further tests to determine if there are problems with your pituitary gland or if it is just a case of decreased thyroid hormone levels. The doctor may also order an antibody test to check for autoimmune disorders. Imaging tests such as ultrasound can be used to examine the thyroid gland’s size, shape, and structure. A radioactive iodine uptake test is also done to measure how much of a radioactive iodine substance is taken up by your thyroid gland. 


Once diagnosed, treatment options depend on the type and severity of the disorder. These may include medications or hormone replacement therapy to regulate hormone levels or surgery to remove part or all of a damaged thyroid gland. In some cases, radioactive iodine can be used to destroy overactive tissue in the thyroid gland, producing lower levels of hormones. Treatment options may include medications or vitamin supplements to regulate hormones and reduce inflammation.  


It is essential for individuals who experience any symptom related to abnormal thyroid levels to consult a healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment options. Additionally, regular monitoring of health changes should also be done so that any new issues related to the thyroid are identified early on. 


Understanding metabolism and thyroid disorders 


The truth about thyroid disorders and metabolism is out there. Following these guidelines and consulting with a professional when needed will give readers all the information they need to get their metabolisms back up and running optimally! Learn more about metabolism by getting a copy of Metabolism & Medicine by Dr. Brian Fertig. 


Dr. Brian Fertig is one of the nation’s leading endocrinologists with 35 years of practice in diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolism. As the founder and president of Diabetes and Osteoporosis Center in Piscataway, New Jersey, Dr. Fertig’s passion for patient care and research led him to write a two-volume comprehensive book on metabolism and the human body, “Metabolism and Medicine.” Dr. Fertig’s poignant, informative monograph on metabolism is the definitive resource on metabolism and biophysical processes at all scales of the physiological journey. 

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