To give you a better idea of what can go wrong with your thyroid I’ve included some of the most common problems below:

1. Low thyroid production (known as HYPOTHYROIDISM) – Very common with up to 10% of patients suffering from this condition

2. High thyroid production (known as HYPERTHYROIDISM) – Not as common as hypothyroidism with an incidence of up to 1-2% of the population suffering from this disease (19) 3. THYROID NODULES (usually these do not interfere with thyroid hormone production at all) – VERY common with up to 20% of the population having a thyroid nodule (20)

4. Autoimmune disease where your own body attacks your thyroid gland (known as HASHIMOTO’S) – Somewhat common with up to 5% of patients suffering from this condition (21)

5. Inflammation of the thyroid gland from infection, trauma or immune attack (known as THYROIDITIS)

6. CANCER OF THE THYROID (this type of issue usually does not interfere with thyroid hormone production) – Thyroid cancer is the most common cancer of the endocrine system but has a 5-year survival rate of around 97%

Figuring out what is wrong with your thyroid (if anything) is of utmost priority

What is the function of thyroid hormone?

Once your thyroid releases thyroxine (T4) into your bloodstream, certain cells in your body transform it into triiodothyronine (T3) through a process called de-iodination. This is because cells that have receptors that receive the effect of thyroid hormone are better able to use T3 than T4. Therefore, T4 is generally considered to be the inactive form of thyroid hormone, and T3 is considered the active form of it.

Cells in the following tissues, glands, organs and body systems can convert T4 to T3:

  • Liver.
  • Kidneys.
  • Muscles.
  • Thyroid.
  • Pituitary gland.
  • Brown adipose (fat) tissue (This type of fat produces heat to help maintain your body temperature in cold conditions).
  • Central nervous system.
  • Thyroid hormone (T3 and T4) affects every cell and all the organs in your body by: Regulating the rate at which your body uses calories (energy). This affects weight loss or weight gain and is called the metabolic rate.
  • Slowing down or speeding up your heart rate.
  • Raising or lowering your body temperature. Influencing the speed at which food moves through your digestive tract.
  • Affecting brain development.
  • Controlling the way your muscles contract.
  • Managing skin and bone maintenance by controlling the rate at which your body replaces dying cells (a normal process).