What is a thyroid gland?

The thyroid gland (usually called simply “thyroid”) is one of the most important components of the endocrine system of the human body. It is an endocrine gland, which synthesizes hormones necessary for stable homeostasis of the body.

If you have any health problems, it is necessary to check the thyroid gland, since it is she who often causes many ailments.

What is the thyroid gland and what is its structure?

This gland is a symmetrical organ that consists of an isthmus, as well as two combined lobes adjacent directly to the trachea (the isthmus is located on the front surface of the organ). It should be taken into account that some authors of medical works distinguish a pyramidal share in the thyroid gland as a separate part of it.

The weight of the thyroid varies from 20 to 65 grams, and its size varies within rather large limits and depends on many features, such as age and gender, etc.In old age, the thyroid gland decreases, and during puberty, on the contrary, increases. In addition, it is worth considering that during pregnancy its size also increases, but over time (usually 6 - 12 months after birth) it decreases.

What is the thyroid responsible for?

Hormones produced within the thyroid gland act as the main control elements of homeostasis throughout the human body. It is thanks to them that the constant temperature of the human body is maintained and energy is produced. They regulate the amount of oxygen consumed by the tissues of the body, and also control the process of neutralization and the creation of free radicals.

With the participation of hormones from the thyroid gland, the formation of new cells is carried out, metabolic processes in organs and apoptosis are carried out (a genetic program for the death of old cells). During the entire life span, the thyroid gland secretes hormones that indirectly affect the physical and mental development of the body, as well as the human mental state.

Due to the lack of hormones produced by this organ, bone tissue diseases can develop, growth retardation and problems with immunity can occur.If there are problems with the thyroid, the body stops fighting the infection due to the lack of T-cell stimulation.

What does the thyroid gland do?

Thyroid tissue can accumulate an amino acid such as tyrosine. It is used by the body to synthesize thyroid hormones and is stored as a special protein, thyroglobulin. Inside this gland, two types of hormones containing iodine are also synthesized - this is triiodothyronine (known as T3) and thyroxin (known as T4), as well as calcitonin, which refers to peptide hormones.

It is worth considering that the synthesis of the hormones T3 and T4 occurs in the presence of molecular iodine, as well as a special enzyme called TPO (thyroid peroxidase). This process occurs in the apical part of the thyroid gland.

What does the thyroid gland affect and what diseases can affect it?

If we turn to the statistics of the WHO (World Health Organization), then we can see that thyroid diseases rank second among all endocrine disorders, giving way to diabetes. Over 665 million people suffer from various thyroid diseases and pathologies.

Very often you can find nodes in the thyroid gland - thissmall rounded formations, which consist of lymphatic tissues and create a feeling of a "lump in the throat" in a person. They most often occur in people over 50 years old and can be the result of both poor ecology and many other external factors.

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