The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of your neck. It releases hormones that control metabolism—the way your body uses energy.
Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs to affect many different processes, including
Growth and development
Metabolism – how your body gets energy from the foods you eat
The thyroid’s hormones regulate vital body functions, including:
Central and peripheral nervous systems
The thyroid gland is about 5 cm long and lies in front of your throat below the prominence of thyroid cartilage sometimes called the Adam’s apple. The thyroid has two sides called lobes that lie on either side of your windpipe, and is usually connected by a strip of thyroid tissue known as an isthmus. Some people do not have an isthmus, and instead have two separate thyroid lobes.
How the Thyroid Gland Works
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, which is made up of glands that produce, store, and release hormones into the bloodstream so the hormones can reach the body’s cells. The thyroid gland uses iodine from the foods you eat to make two main hormones:
It is important that T3 and T4 levels are neither too high nor too low. Two glands in the brain—the hypothalamus and the pituitary communicate to maintain T3 and T4 balance.
The hypothalamus produces TSH Releasing Hormone (TRH) that signals the pituitary to tell the thyroid gland to produce more or less of T3 and T4 by either increasing or decreasing the release of a hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
When T3 and T4 levels are low in the blood, the pituitary gland releases more TSH to tell the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormones.
If T3 and T4 levels are high, the pituitary gland releases less TSH to the thyroid gland to slow production of these hormones.
Why do we Need a Thyroid Gland
T3 and T4 regulate your heart rate and how fast your intestines process food. So if T3 and T4 levels are low, your heart rate may be slower than normal, and you may have constipation/weight gain. If T3 and T4 levels are high, you may have a rapid heart rate and diarrhea/weight loss.
If too much T3 and T4 in your body (hyperthyroidism):
Irritability or moodiness
Sweating or sensitivity to high temperatures
Hand trembling (shaking)
Missed or light menstrual periods
Some people might experience exopthalmus;
If too little T3 and T4 in your body (hypothyroidism):
Tiredness and fatigue
Dry skin and hair
Sensitivity to cold temperature
Frequent, heavy periods
Joint and muscle pain
Call your doctor immediately if you’re suffering from any symptoms of the mentioned above. All the best