What is the Thyroid?
The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped organ located on the front side of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. There are two lobes, the right and left, connected by the isthmus. The primary function of the thyroid is to regulate several important hormones in the body, some of which control the body’s metabolic rate. There are several disorders that can affect the thyroid, including Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, Thyroid Nodules, Thyroid Cancer, and Goiter.
Thyroid function can be measured by the levels of several thyroid hormones in the blood, including TSH, T3 and T4. Too much or too little of these hormones could mean that the patient is suffering from a disorder of the thyroid. If your thyroid is producing too little hormone, you may be having symptoms of hypothyroidism such as tiredness, feeling cold, weight gain, or changes in your skin or hair. Hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid gland produces too much hormone, causes the metabolism to speed up and can lead to weight loss, heart palpitations, sweating or insomnia. Treatment can range from taking replacement thyroid hormones to surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid gland in some cases.