So there’s never been a better time to embrace ashwagandha – an adaptogenic herb that’s been proven to help keep your thyroid happy and healthy.
Why is the thyroid so important?
The thyroid gland may be small, but it’s certainly mighty. Located just below the Adam’s Apple area, this bow-tie shaped gland performs a number of vital functions for the body. Most importantly, it’s responsible for the production of two important hormones found in both men and women – triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), both of which are regulated by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
When TSH is released it stimulates the production of T4 and T3, which in turn help turn calories and oxygen into energy. On top of aiding metabolism, these hormones have a number of important functions:
- Influencing protein synthesis
- Helping the body regulate stress hormones
- Regulating carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, affecting how human cells use energetic compounds
- Stimulating vitamin metabolism
The thyroid plays so many important roles that when something goes wrong, your whole body feels the effects. Thyroid dysfunction presents itself in two main ways:
Hyperthyroidism – this is caused when the thyroid creates too little T3 and T4. Symptoms include irritability, anxiety, weight loss, fatigue, heart palpitations and enlargement of the thyroid.
Hypothyroidism – this is caused when the thyroid creates too much T3 and T4. Symptoms include weight gain, hair loss, tiredness, constipation and dry skin.