Thyroid Disorders Essay Research Paper SummeryAccording to

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Thyroid Disorders Essay, Research Paper Summery According to the American Thyroid Association, millions of Americans (especially women) suffer from a thyroid disorder, and many of them don?t even know it. In fact, thyroid disorders occur much more often than even many doctors realize. The butterfly-shaped thyroid is in the neck, its two ?wings? wrapped around the windpipe just below the Adams? apple. This vitally important gland normally weighs less than an ounce, but it can have an enormous impact on your health. Think of it as your body?s metabolism regulator. It does the job by releasing two hormones, most of which is the iodine-containing hormone thyroxine. The hormones help regulate your heartbeat, body temperature, the smooth working of your muscles, how quickly you

burn calories, how swiftly food moves through your digestive tract and more. Normally, the thyroid doles out just the right amount of hormone to keep these processes humming smoothly. But in some cases it may become overactive and pump out too much hormone called hyperthyroidism. And on the other hand it may slow down and produce too little hormone called hypothyroidism. Most thyroid problems-involving overactive or underactive glands-are caused by an autoimmune reaction. Normally the immune system functions to defend the body from invading microbes. In an autoimmune reaction, however, the immune system turns against the body itself and goes on the attack. In graves? disease the antibodies attach to the thyroid receptors and stimulate the thyroid to produce excessive amounts of

thyroid hormones. In both cases serious imbalances in the body?s energy regulation system occur. The good news is that both kinds of thyroid problems respond well to treatment after they are diagnosed. Introduction Normally the thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck just below the Adam?s apple (Bayliss, 1982). This butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck plays a role in your body?s metabolism. By releasing thyroid hormones, the thyroid actually regulates how your body uses fuel (Morgan 1996). The thyroid is an endocrine gland. Other endocrine glands include the pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries in women and testes in men, the adrenal glands, and the parathyroid glands. The thyroid manufactures certain chemical substances (hormones) that are secreted

into the bloodstream and induce an effect on cells and tissues elsewhere in the body (Bayliss 1982). The thyroid makes two hormones- thyroxine, which because this chemical compound contains four iodine atoms is often called T4, and triiodothyronine which contains three iodine atoms thus calledT3 (Korte 1994). Both are secreted into the bloodstream and carried throughout the body. In many respects these thyroid hormones can be likened in their action to the speed control on a record player. They regulate the metabolic activity of all body cells and tissues. Too little thyroid hormone means that the body cells work at too slow a rate. The result is much the same as playing a 45r.p.m. record at 331/3 r.p.m.; it is slowed and sluggish. By contrast too much hormone induces the cells

to work too fast, like playing a 45 r.p.m. record at 63 r.p.m. and the result is the ?chipmunk? effect (Epps 1995). Although the two thyroid hormones influence the proper working of all body cells, their effect is particularly evident in certain functions (Foley 1993). For example growth and development, both physical and mental, depend upon the presence of an adequate amount of thyroxine. Without thyroxine a tadpole will not metamorphose into a frog, and without thyroxine a newborn baby will not grow properly nor will its brain develop properly. Thyroxine regulates the rate of oxygen consumption, which is another way of saying it controls the speed of activity of body cells(Morgan 1996). The secretory activity of the thyroid gland is regulated by the pituitary gland?s secretion