Normal vs. Optimal
Normal. It’s quite subjective. From acting normally – or in ways that are expected – to medical tests returning a normal result, “normal” is what’s considered conventional. Normal may be typical but that doesn’t mean it’s optimal. Take the thyroid, for example, in which normal can be shown via test values but you still don’t feel well. To feel one’s best, the thyroid must function at an optimal level for your body, which may look different than the parameters considered normal on a lab test. Thyroid disease isn’t uncommon. Between four and five percent of younger people and about ten percent of older adults are affected by thyroid dysfunction.
What is the Thyroid?
The thyroid is a gland, part of the endocrine or hormonal system. It’s located in the front of the neck, at its base. It’s a butterfly-shaped organ with a right and left side. The thyroid is responsible for many processes within our body, including:
- Weight changes
- How quickly your metabolism works
- Muscle strength
- Regulation of body temperature
- Cholesterol levels
- The condition of your skin
- Heart rate
To ensure your best health, your thyroid must function optimally for your body.
How the Thyroid Works
Thyroid function starts in the brain with the hypothalamus, an area responsible for many autonomic bodily functions like blood pressure, temperature, and digestion. Messages go from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland, a tiny, pea-sized gland at the base of the brain, prompting it to release thyroid hormones. The pituitary gland then releases a hormone (TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone) that stimulates your thyroid to release two kinds of hormones into your bloodstream: T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine). The body is more easily able to use T3 in regulating itself but far more T4 is produced, so measuring both numbers is important to figuring out what your thyroid is doing.
There are different kinds of thyroid imbalance. Hyperthyroidism means that there is too much thyroid hormone being produced. Symptoms of it are:
- Changes in your heartbeat – too fast, irregular, or palpitations
- Nervousness or irritability
- Small tremor
- Sleep difficulty
- Perspiring easily or being sensitive to heat
- Skin changes, including warm skin or thinning skin
- Goiter or enlarged thyroid
Conversely, the thyroid can also be underactive, which is called hypothyroidism. Symptoms of an underactive thyroid are:
- Feeling cold
- Changes in menstrual cycle – very heavy or irregular
- Dry skin
- Muscle weakness or aches
Thyroid optimization is exactly what it sounds like. Ensuring that your thyroid is functioning well for your body means you live well and experience all that good health offers. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above but have been told your thyroid levels are normal, HEBE Aesthetics and Vitality may be able to help you optimize them. We’ll use a variety of criteria to determine exactly how your thyroid is functioning. We’ll order blood tests to measure your T4, T3, and TSH levels. We’ll also do a physical examination, including palpating your thyroid. Depending on those results, we may order other imaging to get a complete picture of how your thyroid is working.
In the Atlanta, GA Area
HEBE Aesthetics and Vitality, an anti-aging spa and medical wellness boutique in Atlanta, GA, offers a variety of therapies, including thyroid optimization, to support you in living well. Call (404) 261-5199 or (470) 607-3866 for an appointment or email us at email@example.com. Contact us today so one of our clinicians can help you feel like you again.
Disclaimer: The information contained here was not written by a medical doctor and is intended for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for medical advice.