23 Nisan 2012 Pazartesi

Review Of The Thyroid Gland: What It Is And What It Does

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The thyroid gland is a small soft piece of tissue in your neck. It weighs only 15 to 25 grams-less than an ounce. It is often said it is shaped like a shield the word thyroid comes from the Greek for shield. It sits in two halves on either side of your trachea, or windpipe, although, there is a small bridge of tissue joining the halves. Each half, is known as a lobe, and is about 4cm long and 1 to 2cm in width. The bridge of tissue is known as the isthmus. Because your thyroid is connected to the muscles around your throat, it moves when you swallow. You cannot feel it normally only when it is swollen or when there is something wrong with it. Your thyroid is easiest to feel from behind while you are swallowing. This is why your doctor may have asked you to sit down and drink a cup of water, whilst he or she felt your neck from behind. The thyroid's main role in life is to control how quick your body works. It does this through two hormones that it produces. Hormones are chemicals produced within the body which circulate through the bloodstream and affect particular cells in a particular way. For example, the hormone insulin makes the thyroid easier for cells to absorb the glucose they need for their energy. The female hormone oestrogen affects the uterus and many other parts of a woman's body to give her the normal female characteristics.

The male hormone testosterone controls men's gender attributes. If the thyroid gland just secreted hormones when it felt like it, your life would be a rollercoaster ride of too much, then too little, then too much again. Some control is needed. That comes from the brain. A small part of the centre of your brain known as the hypothalamus secretes a chemical known as TRH, or thyrotropin releasing hormone. TRH travels to the pituitary, which is a small gland sitting at the bottom of your brain, and stimulates the release of the thyroid-stimulating hormone. TSH is also sometimes called thyrotropin. TSH then travels through the blood supply to the thyroid, where it rouses the production and release of the thyroid hormones. About 1 in 40 people to America have some sort of problem with their thyroid. There are two different types of problems you can have. One type of problem occurs if your thyroid grows abnormally, or forms a lump. The other type of problem occurs if your thyroid starts working too fast or too slow. Sometimes these problems occur together. At other times, you can have one type of problem without the other. If your thyroid is working properly but looks abnormal, you might or might not need to have any treatment. That is a topic for you and your doctor to decide. If your thyroid is not working properly, your whole body metabolism is thrown out of kilter, and you will need to see your doctor for some medical attention. If your thyroid is working too hard, everything in your body speeds up. That is known as hyperthyroidism. "Hyper"comes from the Greek, meaning "over", "beyond" or "over much". If it is working too slowly, your metabolism slows down. That is known as hypothyroidism, "Hypo, also, comes from the Greek, meaning under".

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