The Thyroid: Can You Live Without It?
What does a thyroid do? How does a thyroid work? Can we live without it? Do we love it, do we hate it or do we love to hate it? Let’s break it down below.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, producing hormones that control the body’s metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight.
Whether you’re a couch potato or a marathon runner, the thyroid tells the body how fast to go. This gland serves as the body’s thermostat, deciding how much energy to burn, and also how energetic you feel. It’s metabolism central, baby.
Don’t take your hardworking glands for granted. A thyroid infographic print is a great endocrinologist gift for your favorite hormone doctor specialist. Aren’t you gland this gut is so cute?!
Your thyroid produces hormones used in a number of systems throughout your body. When your thyroid makes too much or too little of these hormones, it’s called thyroid disease. Here are a few to be aware of:
- Hyperthyroidism is when your thyroid makes too many hormones, making your metabolism run too fast. Symptoms include weight loss and rapid or irregular heartbeat.
- Hypothyroidism occurs when the gland doesn't create and release enough thyroid hormones into your bloodstream, slowing down your metabolism. This can make you feel tired, gain weight and hate cold temperatures.
- Thyroiditis is swelling (inflammation) of the thyroid gland, which causes either high or low levels of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream.
- Graves Disease is an auto-immune condition that attacks your thyroid and causes it to become hyperthyroid. The most obvious sign of this disease is bulging eyeballs.
- Thyroid Cancer is nobody's favorite, and there are four flavors to choose from: papillary, follicular, anaplastic and medullary. Treatment often includes thyroidectomy, radioactive iodine therapy, and follow-up ultrasound. If you have your thyroid removed, you will have it replaced with synthetic hormones to do the thyroid's job.
Looking for gifts for people recovering from thyroid surgery or a thyroid disease? Check out our collection of best thyroid get well gifts.
A thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of the thyroid, which is used to treat thyroid diseases and disorders such as hyperthyroidism, a goiter (the irregular enlargement of the thyroid gland), or thyroid cancer. Your thyroid can be replaced with a little pill called Synthroid. Sorry, thyroid! If you’re a thyroid cancer survivor, hyperthyroid, hypothyroid patient, or just an endocrine enthusiast, our thyroid plush toy is here to be your essential endocrine pal!
The American Thyroid Association found that approximately 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid cancer and that 60% of these people are unaware of their condition.
It’s important to know your guts, love your guts, and check in on your guts from time to time. They might not be letting you know they’re hurting, but they’re banking on you visiting your healthcare provider to find out. Make an appointment with your doctor to care for your thyroid health.
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