The Human Thyroid – Functions, location, definition, anatomy, disease

The thyroid is one of the largest endocrine glands in the body. This gland is found in the neck inferior to (below) the thyroid cartilage (also known as the Adam’s apple in men) and at approximately the same level as the cricoid cartilage. The thyroid controls how quickly the body burns energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive the body should be to other hormones.

The human body human thyroid

The thyroid participates in these processes by producing thyroid hormones, principally thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones regulate the rate of metabolism and affect the growth and rate of function of many other systems in the body. Iodine and tyrosine are used to form both T3 and T4. The thyroid also produces the hormone calcitonin, which plays a role in calcium homeostasis.

The thyroid is controlled by the hypothalamus and pituitary. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) are the most common problems of the thyroid gland.

Through the hormones it produces, the thyroid gland influences almost all of the metabolic processes in human body. Thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter that needs no treatment to life-threatening cancer. The most common thyroid problems involve abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Too much of these vital body chemicals results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Insufficient hormone production leads to hypothyroidism.

Diseases of Thyroid

Hypothyroidism (underactivity), Hyperthyroidism (overactivity), Goitre, Lingual thyroid, Thyroid adenoma and Thyroid cancer.

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