Thyroid gland is one of the glands of humans endocrine system, it has form of a butterfly and located in front of the neck. Thyroid has an important role in the regulation of numerous metabolic processes in the body. Various types of thyroid disease affect neither its structure and function.
The thyroid gland is located below the Adam’s apple, wrapped around the trachea (windpipe). Thin tissue area in the middle of the gland known as the isthmus connecting the two lobes of the thyroid gland on each side.
Thyroid gland uses iodine to produce vital hormones. Thyroxine also known as T4 is the principal hormone produced gland. After delivery to the bloodstream through the tissues of the body, a small part is released from the gland T4 and converted into triiodothyronine (T3), which is the most active hormone.
Thyroid function is regulated by a feedback mechanism involving the brain. When thyroid hormone levels low hypothalamus in the brain produces a hormone known as thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH), which involves the pituitary gland (located at the base of the brain) to release thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH stimulates thyroid gland to release more T4.
Since the thyroid gland is controlled by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, abnormalities in these tissues may also affect thyroid function and cause problems.
Thyroid disease include:
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Goiter is abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland, a butterfly shape gland located at the base of the neck just below the Adam’s apple. Although goiter is usually painless, a large goiter may cause coughing or difficult breathing or swallowing.
Thyroid nodules are solid lumps or filled with liquid that form within the thyroid gland located at the base of the neck above the sternum.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough of certain important hormones.
As a rule, most often it occurs in women older than 60 years. Hypothyroidism destroys normal balance of chemical reactions in the body. It rarely causes symptoms in the early stages, but over time, uncontrolled hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.
Hyperthyroidism is the excessive production of thyroid hormone. This is a less common condition than hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can be caused by other health problems that may complicate diagnosis.