January is National Thyroid Awareness Month.
(Photo Courtesy of WebMD)
What is the Thyroid?
The Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland, low on the front of the neck, below the Adam’s apple in front of the windpipe.
What does it do in the body?
The Thyroid Gland secretes thyroid hormones that act throughout the body to help it regulate metabolism and influence growth, development and body temperature.
Why is it important?
The Thyroid affects your metabolism rate, regulating how fast or slow your brain, heart, liver, kidneys and other parts of your body work. It plays a role in the function of many of the body’s most important organs. Having the correct amounts of thyroid hormone is crucial for brain development in infancy and childhood.
What are some Thyroid diseases\disorders?
Thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter (enlarged gland) that needs no treatment to life-threatening cancer. The most common thyroid problems involve abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Too much thyroid hormone results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Insufficient hormone production leads to hypothyroidism.
Causes of Hyperthyroidism include Graves’ disease, toxic adenomas, subacute thyroiditis, pituitary gland malfunctions or cancerous growths in the thyroid gland.
Causes of Hypothyroidism include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, removal of the thyroid gland, exposure to excessive amounts of iodide or lithium.
How do I get my Thyroid tested?
Thyroid levels are tested through blood tests. Blood test assess the function of the thyroid by measuring Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroid hormone levels and by detecting autoantibodies present in autoimmune thyroid disease. The TSH test checks how well the thyroid is working. The T4 and T3 tests measure the amount of those hormones in the blood. Thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) test detects the amount of TSI circulating in the blood and is usually measured in people with Graves’ disease, during pregnancy or to see if a person is in remission or no longer has hyperthyroidism and its symptoms.
For more information on common thyroid disorders, visit Healthline.
Other information adapted from and for more information, visit WebMD.
This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.