Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in front of the neck below the Adam's apple. It has two lobes which is connected in the middle by a thin tissue called istmus. Thyroid secretes hormones called T3 and T4 that regulate our metabolism. These hormones adjust a lot of vital functions such as heart rate, blood pressure and metabolisms of glucose, fat and cholesterol. Secretion of thyroid hormones are modulated by the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which is released by the pituitary galand located in the brain. When T3 and T4 levels are low the pituitary gland releases more TSH and the thyroid secretes more T3 and T4. When T3 and T4 levels become high, then the pituitary gland stops releasing TSH and the T3 and T4 levels return to normal. This relationship between the thyroid and pituitary galand is like an oven with thermostat. The thyroid is like an oven that produces heat, and the pituitary gland is like the thermostat that regulates the temperature of the oven.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid glans can not produce sufficient amount of T3 and T4. Typical symptoms include fatigue, dry skin, alopesia, constipation and edema. The opposite of hypothyroidism is called hyperthyroidism, which means excessive production of T3 and T4 by the thyroid gland. In such patients, the typical complaints are tremor, nervousness, sweating, weight loss, hypertension and increased heart rate
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