Are you curious about the thyroid gland and its functions? Do you want to know what could go wrong if it's not working properly? In this blog post, we will explore the basics of the thyroid gland and discuss some of the warning signs that might indicate a problem.

What is the Thyroid Gland?

The thyroid is an essential endocrine gland located in the neck. It is a butterfly shaped gland that produces hormones that help regulate metabolism, growth and development, brain development, and bone health. The hormones released by the thyroid also affects heart rate, muscle strength, digestion, and body temperature. The thyroid lies below the Adam's apple and is composed of two connected lobes. Its primary job is to control your metabolism – how quickly your body makes energy from the food you eat. Having too much or too little of these hormones can have a wide range of effects on your health so it's important to keep an eye on your thyroid health and talk to a doctor if you have any concerns.

Causes of a Thyroid Disorder

Thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter (enlarged gland) that needs no treatment to more serious conditions like hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. The most common cause of thyroid problems is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, damaging it and leading to either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include anxiety, weight loss, rapid heart rate, heat intolerance and trembling hands. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include tiredness, weight gain, depression, abnormal bone development and stunted growth. Other causes of thyroid issues include inflammation of the thyroid gland (Hashimoto's Thyroiditis), Graves' disease (an autoimmune disorder that leads to overactive hormones), goiter (enlarged thyroid) and thyroid nodules (growths on the gland). The only accurate way to find out if you have a thyroid disorder is to get tested by a doctor. Treatment options for thyroid disorders vary depending on the type and severity but may involve medication or surgery.