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January is Thyroid Awareness Month

What’s a thyroid and what does it have to do with my weight?

January is Thyroid Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to help you understand more about your thyroid gland. Specifically, this article has some key information from the American Thyroid Association® (ATA) about how the health of your thyroid can impact your weight.

First things first, what exactly is your thyroid? It’s one of your glands (a type of organ) and it’s located in the lower front part of your neck. Small and butterfly-shaped, its job is to make important hormones that are carried to tissues throughout your body. These hormones help you use energy and stay warm and they keep your heart, brain, other organs and muscles working properly.

There are two common thyroid issues:

  • Hyperthyroidism; and
  • Hypothyroidism. 

People with hyperthyroidism have an overactive thyroid. Basically, your thyroid gland makes too much of one of the hormones. This can speed up your metabolism, which can cause unwanted weight loss and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Those with hypothyroidism, on the other hand, have underactive thyroids. Your thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormones for what your body needs. As a result, your metabolism slows down and you might feel tired easily, have trouble tolerating cold temperatures and gain weight.

To read more about the relationship between thyroid health and weight, visit the ATA Thyroid and Weight FAQs. And if you think you might be experiencing thyroid issues, reach out to your doctor. They’ll know what to do to help keep you and this important gland healthy and well.

For more information on information around thyroid disease, read here.

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