What is Thyroid?

Thyroid gland is one of the endocrine glands. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone, which regulates the rate at which your body carries on its necessary functions. Other endocrine glands are the pancreas, the pituitary, the adrenal glands,the testes, and the ovaries.

The thyroid gland is located in the middle of the lower neck. It lies in front of the wind-pipe , above the level of the collar-bones. A normal gland cannot be felt. The thyroid gland produces hormones like thyroxine nd triiodothyronine which are released into the blood stream.

Certain diseases of the Thyroid gland are common and are caused due to the over or under reactive gland. These conditions are called hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. This tends to slow down the body's functions. Symptoms include tiredness, constipation and sensitivity to the cold.

The thyroid gland controls the entire body's metabolism. That means that your weight, you're hair, your skin and all sorts of things that go on in your body depend on your thyroid to work right. If there is a unexpected weight gain or weight loss is the sign that the thyroid gland is functioning as it is expected to function.

Hypothyroidism is caused due to iodine insufficiency. Some common symptoms of Hypothyroidism are Swelling in the Thyroid gland, Dry and thickened skin, Thinning hair, Weight gain, Constipation etc.,

Hyperthyroidism is the result of an overactive thyroid gland. Treatments for hyperthyroidism involves a surgery or treatment with radioactive iodine or other antithyroid drugs which may result in hypothyroidism.

The functioning of the thyroid gland can change during pregnancy. Women with hypothyroidism need more frequent checks during pregnancy.Five percent of women have a mild problem with the thyroid three to six months after delivery. This has an autoimmune cause and can cause hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Although it rarely needs treatment it does mean that thyroid problems are more likely in later life.