OH, it's a BIG DEAL!! The thyroid is comparatively a small piece of the body puzzle.. a small two-bunny-ears-shaped gland in your neck. Some say it looks like a butterfly, but I think it looks more like two bunny ears (depending on which picture you look at)! It is a gland that is part of the endocrine system, one of the many systems that runs your body and keeps you healthy. The endocrine system is composed of organs that release hormones into your body. These hormones do all kinds of stuff: regulate temperature, release blood sugar into your system when you're hungry, maintain salt levels in the body, fight or flight, etc. The thyroid's sole purpose is to produce thyroid hormone. This thyroid hormone regulates the whole body's overall metabolism. That is why it is SO important...if the body is not running efficiently and metabolizing properly, organs and systems start to malfunction. Read here if you are interesting in hearing about how Oprah has been handling her thyroid (and weight) issues.
The human body is an utterly amazing, multi-tasking machine. On a black-box view, you eat, breathe, drink and poop. But, seeing things on the inside, all these different systems (endocrine, cardiovascular, immune, nervous, muscular, respiratory, reproductive, digestive, etc.) work harmoniously together to keep you alive and well. Talk about a miracle!
But, sometimes, things don't work out the way they are supposed to. For example, me! I was a little stunned by the hypothyroid news when I found out almost two weeks ago. It was a surprise because the last thyroid test I took indicated I had a normal thyroid (haha). But, when I started looking at the symptoms of low thyroid function as well as considering my previous health problems (fatigue, weight gain or inability to lose weight, fluid retention, depression, etc.), all the pieces of the puzzles were starting to come together. I've been taking a thyroid glandular, as well as pregnenlone and progesterone (also hormones) and digestive enzymes now for a week. My energy level has increased tremendously, and I have lost some weight. Yay! The other extreme of imbalance would be hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid is overproducing thyroid hormones. A great website with information about all issues thyroid related is at About.com,
and Stopthethyroidmadness.com is great for anyone concerned with hypothyroidism.
More on my pro-thyroid diet coming soon...