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What Does The Thyroid Gland Do In The Human Body

Where Are My Parathyroid Glands

What Does the Thyroid Gland Do For the Body?

The parathyroid glands lie just behind the thyroid glands in the neck. The parathyroid glands produce parathyroid hormone, which increases levels of calcium in the blood.

The parathyroid glands are small pea-sized glands located in the neck just behind the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland. Most people have four parathyroid glands, with two parathyroid glands lying behind each ‘wing’ of the thyroid gland.

How Is Hyperthyroidism Diagnosed

A full clinical and family history should be taken and thorough examination carried out by a doctor. Simple blood tests called thyroid function tests will then be carried out to confirm the diagnosis. These tests measure the amount of thyroid hormones and thyroid stimulating hormone in the bloodstream. In hyperthyroidism, the levels of triiodothyronine and/or thyroxine are usually raised, with undetectable levels of thyroid stimulating hormone. When the condition is in its early or mild stage, triiodothyronine and thyroxine can be in the normal range with suppressed thyroid stimulating hormone this is known as subclinical hyperthyroidism.

Usually, the thyroid function tests together with the clinical examination are enough to diagnose the cause of hyperthyroidism. However, in some cases antibody testing may be needed to confirm the diagnosis, and occasionally, thyroid iodine uptake scans are requested to identify the cause . This is a test to measure how much iodine is taken up by the thyroid gland and gives an indication of thyroid function.

How The Thyroid Affects 11 Different Systems Of The Body

  • 8 years ago
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The Thyroid Affects So Many Parts of the Body

In todays health care system there are many specialists. It is easy to lose track of the fact that the body is a group of ecosystems, all interconnected and interacting. The thyroid is a perfect example of all these complex interactions and connections.

I have been a long time student of Dr. Datis Kharrazian, one of the leading experts of the treatment of the thyroid with functional medicine and author of the book, Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal?. . The material in this post comes from some of my studies with him and from a book called The Thyroid, A Fundamental and Clinical Text, by Braverman and Utiger.

The body is not just a bunch of unrelated machine parts. Everything is connected in some way.

When you have Hashimotos, chances are good that you have symptoms in some other areas of your body. Read on and you will understand why.

The Thyroid Directly Influences 11 Different Systems in the Body

Thats right, 11. In this 2 part blog post we will introduce each one of them briefly and also discuss how these connections affect Hashimotos patients. I will also be exploring all of these in more depth in future posts. Please let me know what interests you.

1. Bones and bone growth

2. Blood sugar metabolism

4. Cholesterol and other fats in the blood

5. Gallbladder

11. Red blood cell metabolism

Thyroid and Bone

In children, a lack of thyroid hormones will affect normal growth.

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Your Eyes Feel Dry And Look Puffy

While dry, irritated eyes can be a symptom of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, super-puffy, protruding eyes can be a sign of Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases .

This happens when the eyelids are pulled back from the eye, per the NIDDK. Along with bulging eyes, Graves’ disease can also cause double vision and swelling.

What Is The Function Of Thyroid Hormone

The Thyroid (Human Anatomy): Picture, Function, Definition ...

The thyroid secretes several hormones, collectively called thyroid hormones. The main hormone is Thyroxine which is also known as T4. Thyroid hormones act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth development, and body temperature. During infancy and childhood, adequate thyroid hormone is crucial for brain development.

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What Is The Endocrine System

Endocrine systems, also referred to as hormone systems, are found in all mammals, birds, fish, and many other types of living organisms. They are made up of:

  • Glands located throughout the body
  • Hormones that are made by the glands and released into the bloodstream or the fluid surrounding cells and
  • Receptors in various organs and tissues that recognize and respond to the hormones.

Learn more about endocrine systems:

Thyroid Hormones: Types And Functions In The Human Body

  • References:
  • The endocrine system is made up of all those glands and hormones that act in our body. Hormones have a very important role in regulating basic physiological processes in addition, they are also especially related to emotions.

    In this article we will talk about thyroid hormones,a type of hormones synthesized by the thyroid gland and involved in metabolism. We will know its origin, its characteristics and its functions. In addition, we will discuss two important alterations that occur in the thyroid: hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

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    What Causes Hyperthyroidism

    There are a number of different causes of hyperthyroidism, including:

  • Autoimmune thyroid disease or Graves’ disease the most common cause of hyperthyroidism . This affects women more commonly than men and is due to the production of special proteins that attack the thyroid gland. The antibodies fool the thyroid gland into thinking that more thyroid hormone production is needed, which results in hyperthyroidism.
  • Toxic thyroid noduleor nodules the second most common cause of hyperthyroidism . One or several thyroid nodule work independently from the rest of the thyroid gland and produce too much thyroid hormone.
  • Thyroid inflammationor thyroiditis a rare cause of hyperthyroidism usually due to a viral illness, which causes inflammation and tissue destruction of the thyroid gland, leading to release of stored thyroid hormones. The neck may be tender to touch over the thyroid, but this condition usually settles without specific treatment. The thyroid gland usually regains normal function however, in a minority of patients the thyroid can become underactive .
  • Drugs drugs being used to treat other conditions can cause hyperthyroidism. The most common is amiodarone, a drug used to control an irregular heartbeat.
  • There are some other extremely rare causes of hyperthyroidism such as benigntumours of the pituitary gland that produce an excess of thyroid stimulating hormone.
  • When It Doesnt Work Right

    Thyroid gland – What’s the function of the thyroid?

    Sometimes, the thyroid gland develops a problem. It might start producing too much or too little hormone. It might become enlarged, or it could grow lumps of extra tissue.

    More than 12% of people will have some sort of problem with their thyroid during their lifetime. Women are far more likely to have this happen than men.

    Common thyroid problems include:

    Hypothyroidism. This occurs when your thyroid doesnât make enough hormones. That slows your metabolism. It can make you gain weight and feel sluggish or depressed. Sometimes thatâs caused by a condition called Hashimotoâs disease. This happens when your bodyâs disease-fighting immune system attacks the thyroid.

    Hyperthyroidism. If youâre feeling irritable, losing weight, your heart races, and youâre feeling weak, your thyroid might be producing too much hormone. This is often the result of another immune system problem, known as Gravesâ disease, but can be caused by other conditions as well.

    Goiters. A goiter happens when your thyroid gland swells up. Sometimes, it makes a noticeable bulge in your neck other times, it can make you cough or make your voice sound hoarse. A goiter can be caused by other thyroid conditions or by a lack of iodine, an element your thyroid needs to work properly. Most Americans get plenty of iodine because itâs now added to table salt in the United States.

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    Keeping The Body Working Right

    Thyroid hormones help keep all the cells in the body working right. It does this by controlling the metabolism. This is the rate at which every part of the body functions. The right amount of thyroid hormones keep the metabolism at a healthy pace. This helps the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs work well. A balanced metabolism also helps ensure a healthy temperature, heart rate, energy level, and growth rate.

    Your Muscles Feel Weak

    Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause muscles to feel achy, weak, or stiff, according to Rodriguez. But, because thyroid symptoms often develop slowly, many people don’t notice the muscle aches or weakness right away, or brush it off as typical pain that comes from aging. Check in with your doctor if something feels off.

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    Your Hair Is Thinning

    According to the American Academy of Dermatology , your dermatologist might be the first doctor to notice signs of thyroid disease since many signs and symptoms show up on your skin, hair, and nails.

    Both conditionshypothyroidism and hyperthyroidismcan cause your hair to thin. Your eyebrows are hit especially hard: Eyebrows that thin along the outer edges can be a sign of hypothyroidism, Eve Feinberg, M.D., assistant professor of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Northwestern University School of Medicine previously told Women’s Health.

    You may also find less hair on your legs, arms, and other areas, or that your hair has become coarse, dully, dry, and breaks easily, per the AAD.

    What Could Go Wrong With The Thyroid Gland

    8.2.3 Thyroid Gland Structure and Function

    Normally the thyroid gland produces the exact number of hormones needed to keep your bodys metabolism running and in balance. As described earlier, hormones secreted by the pituitary gland stay constant in your blood circulation, but their levels may increase or decrease when T4 levels in the blood are changing. This hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid feedback loop keeps the levels of T4 in your blood stable and reacts to small changes immediately.

    However, there are several disorders associated with the thyroid gland with most problems concerning the production of thyroid hormones. Either the thyroid gland produces too much hormone or your thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormone , resulting in your body using energy faster or slower than it should.

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    Thyroid Hormones Are Critically Important To Many Bodily Functions

    The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located at the base of the neck in front of the trachea . Measuring about two inches wide and weighing 20 to 60 grams, the thyroid gland’s function is to make hormones that are vitally important to the bodys metabolism, growth, and development.

    In infants, thyroid hormones are crucial to the development of the brain and the skeletal system. A normal functioning thyroid gland is critical to the normal development of children, and to both the long-term and minute-to-minute well-being of adults.

    Is There A Higher Risk Of Developing Thyroid Disease If I Have Diabetes

    If you have diabetes, youre at a higher risk of developing a thyroid disease than people without diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. If you already have one autoimmune disorder, you are more likely to develop another one.

    For people with type 2 diabetes, the risk is lower, but still there. If you have type 2 diabetes, youre more likely to develop a thyroid disease later in life.

    Regular testing is recommended to check for thyroid issues. Those with type 1 diabetes may be tested more often immediately after diagnosis and then every year or so than people with type 2 diabetes. There isnt a regular schedule for testing if you have type 2 diabetes, however your healthcare provider may suggest a schedule for testing over time.

    If you have diabetes and get a positive thyroid test, there are a few things to you can do to help feel the best possible. These tips include:

    • Getting enough sleep.
    • Taking all of your medications as directed.
    • Getting tested regularly as directed by your healthcare provider.

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    Effects Of Iodine Deficiency

    If there is a deficiency of dietary iodine, the thyroid will not be able to make thyroid hormone. A lack of thyroid hormone will lead to decreased negative feedback on the pituitary, which in turn, will lead to increased production of thyroid-stimulating hormone, which causes the thyroid to enlarge .

    This enlarged endemic colloid goiter has the effect of increasing the thyroids ability to trap more iodide, compensating for the iodine deficiency and allowing it to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormone.

    What Is The Thyroid

    Thyroid Gland, Hormones and Thyroid Problems, Animation

    The thyroid gland is a small organ thats located in the front of the neck, wrapped around the windpipe . Its shaped like a butterfly, smaller in the middle with two wide wings that extend around the side of your throat. The thyroid is a gland. You have glands throughout your body, where they create and release substances that help your body do a specific thing. Your thyroid makes hormones that help control many vital functions of your body.

    When your thyroid doesnt work properly, it can impact your entire body. If your body makes too much thyroid hormone, you can develop a condition called hyperthyroidism. If your body makes too little thyroid hormone, its called hypothyroidism. Both conditions are serious and need to be treated by your healthcare provider.

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    How Can I Promote The Health Of The Thyroid Gland

    Iodine is most essential to maintain a healthy thyroid. Iodine is the critical ingredient for the production of thyroid hormones. We dont need a lot of iodine, it is said that one teaspoon of iodine is enough for a lifetime. Nonetheless, the daily and constant supply of this micronutrient is important. Too much iodine at once is counter-productive and causes your thyroid to produce less hormones. The best way to get your daily dose of iodine is through eating healthy foods like seafood and dairy products. In addition, iodized salt is a good source and you can use it to season your food. Nowadays, iodine is added to salt to combat goitres .

    Overview Of The Thyroid Gland

    , MD, MS, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

    The thyroid is a small gland, measuring about 2 inches across, that lies just under the skin below the Adams apple in the neck. The two halves of the gland are connected in the middle , giving the thyroid gland the shape of a bow tie. Normally, the thyroid gland cannot be seen and can barely be felt. If it becomes enlarged, doctors can feel it easily, and a prominent bulge may appear below or to the sides of the Adams apple.

    The thyroid gland secretes thyroid hormones, which control the speed at which the bodys chemical functions proceed . Thyroid hormones influence the metabolic rate in two ways:

      Thyroid hormones affect many vital body functions, such as the heart rate, the rate at which calories are burned, skin maintenance, growth, heat production, fertility, and digestion.

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      What Does The Thyroid Gland Do

      The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate controlling heart, muscle and digestive function, brain development and bone maintenance. Its correct functioning depends on a good supply of iodine from the diet. Cells producing thyroid hormones are very specialised in extracting and absorbing iodine from the blood and incorporate it into the thyroid hormones.

      What Causes Thyroid Disease

      Thyroid Function: 101

      There are various different factors causing hyper- and hypothyroidism.

      The following conditions cause hypothyroidism:

      Thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. This can lower the number of hormones produced.

      A special form of thyroiditis is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This is a genetic disorder caused by diseases of the immune system and can be passed from one generation to the other. In addition, thyroiditis can occur in women after giving birth also referred to as postpartum thyroiditis. It is usually a temporary condition and occurs only in 5-9% of woman giving birth.

      Nutrition also impacts your thyroid functions. Iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism. This is a worldwide problem affecting approximately 100 million people. As mentioned earlier, iodine is used by the thyroid gland to produce hormones.

      The following conditions cause hyperthyroidism:

      Graves’ disease is a condition where the entire thyroid gland might be overactive and produce too much hormone. Your thyroid gland might be enlarged. This problem is also called diffuse toxic goitre.

      Thyroiditis can also cause the opposite and trigger the release of hormones that were stored in the thyroid gland. This uncontrolled release of thyroid hormones causes hyperthyroidism for a few weeks or months. It may occur in women after childbirth.

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      What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Goitre

      It is common to have small nodules within the thyroid gland, which cannot be felt, but may be picked up by chance when scans or examinations are conducted for other reasons. In these cases, there have usually been no symptoms to indicate the presence of goitre. Larger goitres simply present as a lump in the neck. Occasionally, a large goitre will press on nearby structures, for instance making it difficult to swallow or to breathe.

      Why Are Hormones Important

      Hormones act as chemical messengers that are released into the blood stream to act on an organ in another part of the body. Although hormones reach all parts of the body, only target cells with compatible receptors are equipped to respond. Over 50 hormones have been identified in humans and other vertebrates.

      Hormones control or regulate many biological processes and are often produced in exceptionally low amounts within the body. Examples of such processes include:

      • blood sugar control
      • differentiation, growth, and function of reproductive organs and estradiol) and
      • body growth and energy production .

      Much like a lock and key, many hormones act by binding to receptors that are produced within cells. When a hormone binds to a receptor, the receptor carries out the hormone’s instructions, either by altering the cell’s existing proteins or turning on genes that will build a new protein. The hormone-receptor complex switches on or switches off specific biological processes in cells, tissues, and organs.

      Some examples of hormones include:

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