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What Is the Thyroid and What Does It Do?

By    |   Thursday, 11 Feb 2016 05:27 PM


Despite its small size of only about 2 inches long, the thyroid gland is a very important control center for the body.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that is part of the endocrine system. It is located at the front of the neck, just below the thyroid cartilage, or Adam’s apple.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The One Secret to a Healthy Thyroid

Endocrine Web explains that the thyroid’s function is to produce, store, and release thyroid hormones that control the body’s metabolism, or the way it makes energy from food. While this may sound simple, these hormones ultimately control many important bodily functions such as:

• Breathing and heart rate
• Body temperature
• Menstrual cycles
• Cholesterol levels
• Weight
• Body strength
• Central and peripheral nervous system

The thyroid gland is controlled by an even smaller gland at the base of the brain called the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland constantly monitors the levels of thyroid hormone in the body, says Hormone Health Network, and notifies the thyroid to produce the proper amounts of hormones at all times.

ALERT: Your Tiny Thyroid Causing Hidden Problems: Heart, Obesity, Worse

Endocrine Web explains that the thyroid gland uses iodine in food to produce two hormones called Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). When these hormones travel through the bloodstream, almost every organ in the body is affected.

It is crucial to good health that T3 and T4 levels are appropriate. An underactive thyroid gland does not produce enough T3 and T4 hormones. This condition is called hypothyroidism. In contrast, an overproductive thyroid releases too much T3 and T4 resulting in hyperthyroidism.

A properly functioning thyroid gland is key to overall good health. Untreated thyroid disorders can result in elevated cholesterol levels, heart disease, osteoporosis, and even infertility, according to Thyroid Awareness.

Thyroid disorders can be detected using a simple blood test, and they are easily medically treated. It is important to understand thyroid disorder symptoms and take action by consulting your physician.

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Despite its small size of only about 2 inches long, the thyroid gland is a very important control center for the body. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that is part of the endocrine system.
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2016-27-11
Thursday, 11 Feb 2016 05:27 PM
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