Thyroid disorders are conditions that affect the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck. The thyroid has an important role to regulate numerous metabolic processes throughout the body. Different types of thyroid disorders affect either its structure or function.
The thyroid gland is located below Adam’s apple wrapped around the trachea (windpipe). A thin area of tissue in the gland’s middle, known as the isthmus, joins the two thyroid lobes on each side. The thyroid uses iodine to produce vital hormones. Thyroxine, also known as T4, is the primary hormone produced by the gland. After delivery via the bloodstream to the body’s tissues, a small portion of the T4 released from the gland is converted to triiodothyronine (T3), which is the most active hormone.
Thyroid disease is a common problem that can cause symptoms because of over- or under-function of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is an essential organ for producing thyroid hormones, which maintain are body metabolism. The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck below the Adam’s apple. Thyroid disease can also sometimes lead to enlargement of the thyroid gland in the neck, which can cause symptoms that are directly related to the increase in size of the organ (such as difficulty swallowing and discomfort in front of the neck).
Thyroid Disorder symptoms and signs include:
- Intolerance to cold
- Muscle aches and cramps
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Poor appetite
- Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)
- Dry, rough skin
- Coarse hair or hair loss
- Eye and face swelling
- Deeper and/or hoarse voice
- Enlarged tongue
- Irregular or heavy menstrual periods
- Memory loss
- Slowed thinking and mental activity
- Increased blood cholesterol levels
The thyroid gland is a metabolism hormone-producing gland in the lower part of the neck, below Adam’s apple. It has two lobes attached to one another by a middle part called the isthmus and is located in front of the trachea. The thyroid produces essential hormones required by the body that help regulate metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. Thyroid hormones are also necessary for children to grow and develop.