Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which produces hormones. Thyroid Gland releases hormones that control metabolism. Thyroid hormones control the speed of many activities in your body includes.
- Heart rate
- Central and peripheral nervous systems
- Body weight
- Muscle strength
- Menstrual cycles›
- Body temperature
- Cholesterol levels
- Much more!
What Thyroid Gland Do ?
The thyroid produces two hormones that it secretes into the bloodstream. One is called thyroxine; this hormone contains four iodine atoms and is often called T4. The other is called triiodothyronine, which contains three iodine atoms and is often called T3. In the cells and tissues of the body, T4 is converted to T3. It is T3, derived from T4 or secreted as T3 by the thyroid gland, that is biologically active and influences the activity of every cell and tissue in your body.
Thyroid Diseases / Conditions 1:
- Goiter: A general term for inflammation of the thyroid. Goiters can be harmless or they can represent iodine deficiency or a condition associated with inflammation of the thyroid called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
- Thyroiditis: Inflammation of the thyroid, usually from a viral infection or an autoimmune condition. Thyroiditis can be painful or have no symptoms.
- Hyperthyroidism: Excessive production of thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism is usually caused by Graves’ disease or an overactive thyroid nodule.
- Hypothyroidism: Low production of thyroid hormone. Thyroid damage caused by autoimmune disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism.
- Graves’ disease: An autoimmune condition in which the thyroid becomes overstimulated, causing hyperthyroidism.
- Thyroid cancer: A rare form of cancer, thyroid cancer is usually curable. Surgery, radiation, and hormonal treatments may be used to treat thyroid cancer.
- Thyroid nodule: A small abnormal mass or lump in the thyroid gland. Thyroid nodules are extremely common. Few are cancerous. They may secrete excess hormones, causing hyperthyroidism, or they may not cause problems.
- Thyroid storm: A rare form of hyperthyroidism in which extremely high levels of thyroid hormone cause severe illness.
Thyroid Tests and Diagnosis 2:
Anti-TPO antibodies: In autoimmune thyroid disease, proteins mistakenly attack the enzyme thyroid peroxidase, which is used by the thyroid to make thyroid hormones.
Thyroid ultrasound: A probe is placed on the skin of the neck and reflected sound waves can detect abnormal areas of thyroid tissue.
Thyroid scan: A small amount of radioactive iodine is given by mouth to obtain images of the thyroid gland. Radioactive iodine is concentrated within the thyroid gland.
Thyroid biopsy: A small amount of thyroid tissue is removed, usually to look for thyroid cancer. Thyroid biopsy is usually done with a needle.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): Secreted by the brain, TSH regulates the release of thyroid hormone. A high TSH blood test indicates low thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism), and a low TSH suggests hyperthyroidism.
T3 and T4 (thyroxine): The primary forms of thyroid hormone, checked with a blood test.
Thyroglobulins: A substance secreted by the thyroid that can be used as a marker for thyroid cancer. It is often measured during follow-up in patients with thyroid cancer. High levels indicate cancer recurrence.
Other imaging tests: If the thyroid cancer has spread (metastasized), tests such as CT scans, MRIs, or PET scans can help identify the extent of the spread.
Thyroid Treatments 3:
- Thyroid surgery (thyroidectomy): A surgeon removes all or part of the thyroid in one operation. Thyroidectomy is done for thyroid cancer, goiter, or hyperthyroidism.
- Antithyroid medications: Medications can slow the excessive production of thyroid hormone in hyperthyroidism. Two common antithyroid medications are methimazole and propylthiouracil.
- Radioactive iodine: Radioactive iodine that can be used in low doses to examine the thyroid gland or destroy an overactive gland. Large doses can be used to destroy cancerous tissue.
- External radiation: A beam of radiation is directed at the thyroid, at multiple appointments. High-energy rays help kill thyroid cancer cells.
- Thyroid hormone pills: A daily treatment that replaces the amount of thyroid hormone you can no longer make. Thyroid hormone pills treat hypothyroidism and are also used to help prevent thyroid cancer from coming back after treatment.
- Recombinant human TSH: Injection of this thyroid-stimulating agent can make thyroid cancer show up more clearly on imaging tests.