| DoctorHelps | Diabetes, Metabolism & Endocrinology
The thyroid gland is one of the most important endocrine organs of the body. The thyroid is located in the neck just below the thyroid cartilage (in guy's we call it the Adam's apple) and cricoid cartilage.
Its size can vary depending on one's iodine intake. However on average the thyroid gland weighs between 15-20 grams.
It's made up of two lobes which lie on either side of the windpipe. Each lobe is around the size of small orange slice. The right and left lobes are connected by a thin strip of thyroid tissue called the theisthmus.
In the average person even those will low thyroid function, the lobes are not visible. However they can become enlarged and in some circumstances this is known as "goiter".
So the thyroid is part of the endocrine system and is responsible for releasing hormones as are all parts of the endocrine system. There is a very subtle balance between the endocrine system and the hormones it produces.
The principal purpose of thyroid hormones is to balance your metabolism.
Your body's metabolism regulates how quickly your body uses energy you have stored up. When your metabolism is working correctly, everything runs like a well-oiled engine so your body is in harmony.
Your thyroid and its functions impact almost all parts of the body. Here is a list of just some functions affected by the thyroid:
· Functionality of many different types of enzymes
· Your body's utilization of minerals
· The secretion and breakdown of all other hormones in the body
· All aspects of the metabolism including fats, proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins
· The body's employment of minerals
· The stimulus of marrow in the bones
· Helps control bone synthesis
· Allows the bones to produce red blood cells when necessary
· The response of tissues to all other hormones
· The strength with which the heart contracts and the rhythm with which it beats
· Lungs and respiration (especially true when tissue/blood oxygen levels fall below optimum levels)
· Cell turnover (vital for long-term health and the prevention of premature aging)
All in all there's not a tissue in the body which isn't affected by excess or insufficient amounts of thyroid hormones in the body. For such a small gland it affects the body in astonishingly diverse ways and is crucial to overall wellbeing.
So when it's out of sync with the rest of your body; it can have a big impact on how you feel on a day-to-day basis. So you need your thyroid to be in optimal working order for you to feel at your best.
Luckily there are some steps you can take to get your thyroid back in shape.
How Can You Improve Your Thyroid Health?
If you know your thyroid isn't working properly then there are steps you can take to improve your thyroid health and lessen the symptoms of the disorder.
There are certain foods you should avoid and other foods you can eat to help you overcome your condition. For example you should stay away from processed foods, fatty foods and gluten.