FAQ Thyroid Health: What is the Thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in the neck that produces a hormone that affects every part of your body, governing your metabolism. There are millions of North Americans with poor thyroid health, of which half are undiagnosed. The thyroid hormone affects every system in the body by:

  • regulating metabolism
  • building muscle
  • coping with stress
  • regulate protein, fat & carb metabolism
  • affecting body temperature
  • controlling heart function, heart rate & circulation

FAQ Thyroid Health: What affects Thyroid Health?

When the thyroid gland produces too little or too much of its hormone, the body starts to become symptomatic either way.  Normally, the thyroid hormone produced is inactive, and needs to be converted to its active form in the tissues.  There are so many steps for optimal thyroid health and things can go wrong at each level.  Thyroid health can be compromised by affecting the body’s production, conversion or use of thyroid. Many things can cause poor thyroid health.


  • Stress
  • Genetics
  • Surgery
  • Cancer
  • Pregnancy
  • Viral Infection
  • Environmental Toxins
  • Nutritional Deficiencies
  • Autoimmune – Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (Low Thyroid)
  • Autoimmune – Grave’s Disease (High Thyroid)
  • Radioactive Iodine Treatment (Treatment for Grave’s Disease often causes Low Thyroid)
  • Certain Medications: Lithium, Amiodarone, Interferon & Interleukin-2

Risk Factors:

  • Women
  • Aging
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Premature Graying Hair
  • Caucasian, Asian, South Asian
  • Autoimmune Diseases (Celiac, Vitiligo, Rheumatoid Arthritis, MS, Diabetes)

FAQ Thyroid Health: What are the Symptoms of Poor Thyroid Health?

The symptoms of thyroid dysfunction span many organ systems as the thyroid hormone affects every part of the body, from heart and brain to muscles and skin.  This makes it more challenging to diagnose a change in thyroid health, as these symptoms may be present in other conditions.

Symptoms of Poor Thyroid Health include:


  • Fatigue, Low Energy
  • Lethargy


  • Weight Gain
  • Loss Muscle Tone
  • Decreased Sweating


  • Need More Sleep to Feel Rested
  • Waking Tired after Sleep

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  • Low Sex Drive
  • Difficult Erections or Orgasm



  • Protruding Eyes
  • Swelling Around Eyes or Eyelids
  • Bloodshot, Tearing Eyes

Hair & Skin:


  • Emotionally Unstable
  • Nervousness




  • Delayed Reflexes
  • Generalized Aches, Joint Pains

Heart & Circulation:

  • Chest Pain
  • Rapid, Irregular Heartbeat
  • Dizzy Spells
  • Numbness Hands & Feet
  • Chilliness or Intolerance to Cold Temperatures


This article is for educational purposes only and does not advocate self diagnosis.  Due to individual variability, consultation with a licensed health professional, such as a naturopathic physician is highly recommended, prior to starting a natural treatment plan. For further information, see Terms of Our Website.

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