8 Facts About The Thyroid
Read these eight facts to better understand the thyroid and thyroid disease.
The THANC Foundation’s mission is to support research and spread knowledge regarding thyroid, head, and neck disease. Read these eight facts to better understand the thyroid and thyroid disease.
1. What is the Thyroid?
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland about 2 inches long at the base of your neck, in front of your throat. The thyroid has two symmetrical sides, like butterfly wings, called lobes that sit on each side of your windpipe. These sides are sometimes connected by thyroid tissue called the isthmus.
2. What Does the Thyroid Do?
Your thyroid releases specific hormones that travel through your body and regulate vital functions. These include breathing, heart rate, metabolism, menstrual cycles, body temperature, blood pressure, even your mood is affected by these hormones. Because of this, without the correct quantities of hormones your body and mood can become unbalanced.
3. How Does it Work?
The thyroid is part of your endocrine system that produces, stores, and circulates hormones into your bloodstream to interact with cell production. Made from iodine in your food, the thyroid produces two main hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) monitored by two brain glands, the hypothalamus and the pituitary. The over or underproduction of these hormones is monitored by the thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH) released by the pituitary.