Thyroid Gland Essay

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The Thyroid Gland There are seven different glands in the Endocrine System which all work to regulate the human body for its development, growth and reproduction by producing, storing, and releasing hormones into the blood stream (Shier, Butler, & Lewis, 2007). The Thyroid Gland is located toward the front of the neck below the larynx. The Thyroid gland resembles the shape of a butterfly and is two inches long weighing less than an ounce (Mayo Clinic, 2008). Though the pituitary gland (located in the brain) is the “master gland” of the Endocrine system, the thyroid gland produces hormones which regulate metabolism providing energy and it affects every organ in the body. Developing a clear understanding of the function of the Thyroid Gland will assist with the comprehension of what Hypothyroidism consists of. The Thyroid Gland produces Thyroxine hormones (T4), because it includes 4 atoms of iodine and Triiodothyronine hormones (T3) because it includes 3 atoms of iodine (Shier, Butler, & Lewis, 2007). The Thyroid takes up iodine from digested food and manufactures the two hormones T3 and T4 which absorb the iodine. Iodine essential to the production of these hormones and can be found in some medications, seaweed, and soy bean. These hormones regulate the way the body uses fasts/carbohydrates which help regulate production of proteins, temperature control and influences the heart rate. The Thyroid gland produces Calcitonin which regulates the amount of calcium in the blood stream and builds up calcium in the bones (Mayo Clinic, 2008). Hypothyroidism develops when the Thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormones which slow down the body functions. Hyperthyroidism is the opposite, meaning the thyroid makes too much hormones. Five percent of the US population has Hypothyroidism (Mayo Clinic, 2008). Hypothyroidism is caused by abnormalities of the
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