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Thyroid Disease And Your Metabolism What You Need To Know

Posted Apr 06 2010 8:06pm


A healthy metabolism is the basis of all around good health for everyone. Of course metabolism is front and center when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, but it is much more than that. Your metabolism is your body’s fuel station. It takes all of the calories you consume, turns them into energy and passes that energy along to other systems in your body to run. Every single thing you do, whether it is an involuntary biological process to something you actively decide to do, like read a book, is made possible by your metabolism. Your metabolism also decides when to save calories as fat for energy sources for later, and when to dip into those fat reserves and start burning them up. But the energy calls made by your metabolism translate into much more than simple weight gain or weight loss. When your metabolism is not working correctly, you will feel it in just about every aspect of your life.

Although there can be many different reasons a metabolism may be compromised or start to work overtime, thyroid disease is one of the main causes. There are two types of thyroid disease: hypothyroidism, also know as an underactive thyroid, and hyperthyroidism, also known as an overactive thyroid. Again, there can be many different underlying causes for each of these conditions, but most often they are caused by autoimmune diseases that attack the thyroid. In a case of hypothyroidism, the thyroid does not produce as much thyroid hormone as it should. In the case of hyperthyroid is, it produces too much.

The reason a healthy thyroid matters so much for a healthy metabolism is that your thyroid is in charge of your metabolism. Thyroid hormone tells your metabolism to get going and how quickly to operate. If you have too little thyroid hormone, your metabolism will grind along slowly, while if you have too much, your metabolism will move along too fast. Each of these can have very negative consequences for your overall health.

Of course, if your metabolism moves too slowly, you will gain weight. However, you will also feel cold all of the time, feel fatigued and run down, have mood swings, feel depressed and anxious, have dry, brittle hair, hair loss, dry skin, disrupted sleep and menstrual problems. If your metabolism is too fast, you will lose weight, which might sound good to some people, but you will also feel hot all the time, sweat excessively, have heart palpitations, feel anxious and depressed, be prone to panic attacks, experience hair loss, and eventually develop a goiter and have your eyelids recede so you develop a “bug eye” look. These symptoms are all a result of improper metabolic functioning.

The moral of the story is, think of your metabolism as being responsible for far more than your weight – it is in reality responsible for your overall health and well being. If you suspect you have a metabolic problem, see your doctor. These problems can be difficult to treat, and so catching it early help keep things in check.

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