Thyroid Gland

The Thyroid Gland is an extremely large and essential gland of the body and part of the Endocrine System. It is located in the neck just above the mid throat region or Adam’s apple of a man.

The Thyroid consists of Two lobes connected by the Isthmus. The body is largely in control of the metabolism of the body. Burning off energy, hormonal control, and warmth of the body are often attributed to the thyroid.

Several hormones are important from the thyroid such as T4, T3, and Calcitonin. The control of the thyroid itself depends largely on another gland called the Hypothalamus.

TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone produced in the anterior pituitary is another hormone

Diseases of the Thyroid

The thyroid can be affected by several diseases

1.)  Hyperthyrodism
–  Gland produces excessive amounts of thyroid Hormone

2.)  Grave’s Disease
–  A form of Hyperthyrodism – caused by an autoimmune disorder.

3.)  Hypothyroidism
–  Insufficient thyroid production
–  Worldwide – the most common cause is iodine deficiency

4.)  Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
–  A form of Hypothyroidism
–  Found in Iodine-sufficient regions
–  An autoimmune disorder

5.)  Nodules of Thyroid
–  Found in 4-7% of the population
–  Lumps or Bumps in the thyroid
–  Usually, cause no symptoms

–  Are not linked to cancer

6.)  Thyroid Cancer
–  Most common cancer of Thyroid is a benign Adenoma
–  This is a painless mass in the neck
–  Radiation of the head and neck increases the risk of thyroid cancer.
–  Other types of Thyroid Cancer include: Papillary, Follicular, Medullary, Thyroid Lymphoma, and others.
–  Diagnosis is done through Fine Needle Aspiration
–  Blood work is helpful
–  A Radioactive Iodine Uptake Test can reveal the activity, location, and metastases of cancer.

–  Treatment may be Thyroid removal, Radiation, and others.

Iodine

1.)  Iodine is quite an important molecule of the thyroid.
2.)  Its absence in the diet of some throughout the world can be a large problem.
3.)  Its absence can cause swelling or enlargement of the thyroid called a goiter.
4.)  Iodized salt is a great way to add iodine to the diet.

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