Home About The Thyroid
About The Thyroid
Sunday, 22 February 2009 11:13

thyroid gland

What does the thyroid do in the body? 


The thyroid gland is very important in the regulation of the body’s metabolism.  The metabolism in one’s body consists of the organs, heart, digestive system, brain and every cell in the body.  It is important that one’s metabolism is controlled in order to have a health body, good energy levels, and overall good feeling. 


The thyroid gland produces hormones called T3 and T4 which are released into the bloodstream.  These hormones are required for survival and influence every cell in the entire body.  The precise balance of thyroid hormone is essential.  If one has too much thyroid hormone in the body they will have hyperthyroidism.  The body’s metabolism is turned up too high so one will experience symptoms like anxiety, diarrhea, nervousness, and shaky hands.  If one has too little thyroid hormone they will have hypothyroidism.  In this situation the body’s metabolism is turned down too much so one will experience symptoms like tiredness, fatigue, constipation, depression and forgetfulness.


The thyroid gland is regulated and controlled by the pituitary gland which is located in the brain.  The pituitary gland monitors the levels of thyroid hormone in the body.  If one’s thyroid hormones are too low then the pituitary gland will secret thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to tell the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone, T3 and T4.  If the thyroid hormones are too high then the pituitary gland will secrete less TSH to signal the thyroid to produce less thyroid hormone.   The pituitary gland controls and maintains the balance of the overall thyroid hormones in the body.



If one’s thyroid is removed or destroy with radioactive iodine the doctor will monitor one’s TSH levels to determine if they need to increase or decrease their thyroid medication.  It often takes months of adjusting ones thyroid medication after surgery or radioactive iodine therapy.  Your endocrinologist will discuss your target TSH level. 


If one stops taking their thyroid medication their TSH levels will elevate.  This is because the pituitary gland is signaling for the increase of thyroid hormone.   This will create a state of hypothyroidism.  High TSH level is important for radioactive iodine oblation therapy in thyroid cancer treatment.  It is common for one to discontinue thyroid medication prior to radioactive iodine therapy.  High TSH levels will make radioactive iodine treatment more effective.   If one takes too much thyroid medication this will create a state of hyperthyroidism.   It is all about a balance.


The goal of the endocrinologist is to reach the ideal level of thyroid hormone in one’s body.  This will make one have energy and an overall good feeling.  Often this will take some time so don’t get discourage.



Last Updated on Saturday, 21 January 2012 17:16

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