Most of us don’t think too much about our thyroid and pay little attention to its health, in the belief that as long as we use iodized salt it will be just fine. Big mistake : When ignored, this ‘’Master and Commander’’ gland can quickly turn and cause a lot of unpleasant effects.

The importance of the thyroid gland cannot be overestimated. The thyroid gland surrounds the windpipe at the base of the neck, and it produces a number of hormones, primarily thyroxine (T4) Thyroxine is essential to sexuality in women, providing a glandular link between the brain and the organs of reproduction and when out of balance it can have serious consequences with your sex life. The other principal thyroid hormone is calcitonin, which inhibits the release of calcium balance and strong bones. The thyroid gland directly influences circulation, respiration and tissue growth and repair. Not your average gland, indeed! If you’ve been feeling weak and fatigued, are experiencing cold hands and feet, have dry skin and feel chilly, chances are your thyroid is screaming for attention.

Check out what else can be affected! The thyroid packs even more punch when it comes to your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. Here, it controls overall metabolic rate and calories required to lose, gain, or maintain body weight. Stress, illnesses with fever, and even the weather can cause an increase in BMR, whereas fasting, starvation, or malnutrition will lower it.

If you have ‘’hyperthyroidism’’, your thyroid is overproducing thyroxine hormone. This can cause extreme nervousness and irritability, increased heart rate and blood pressure and weight loss. With ‘’hypothyroidism’’, there is too little thyroxine, which leads to dry skin, brittle fingernails, and a lack of energy in adults. Low thyroid function affects approximately 20-25 percent of the female population and about 10 percent of males. An additional 30 percent of persons over the age of 35 may also have sub-clinical or mild hypothyroidism, whereby their thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is within normal range, but they have many of the symptoms of low thyroid. For infants, a low-functioning thyroid can be devastating, inhibiting physical development and causing irreversible mental retardation. Serious stuff, this thyroid function!

A simple test for thyroid balance is to place a thermometer under your armpit when you first wake up, before you get out of bed, Lay still, thermometer in place, for 10 minutes. If your temperature is lower than 36.6C <m your thyroid might be hypoactive, if higher than 36.7C it could be hyperactive. If your thyroid is out of balance, strange as it may seem you may want to consider taking a hormone free thyroid gland since you may not need the hormones but instead you may need the naturally occuring iodine within the thyroxin free thyroid gland, with the addition of kelp, iodine and zinc picolinate.

Your thyroid is too crucial to neglect, and supporting it will be a gift that keeps on giving and increasing your ability to attain optimum health. And let’s not forget that sex life!