Monthly Archives - February 2021

What does my thyroid gland do?

The thyroid gland is an important hormone gland: It performs a major role in the metabolism, growth, and development of the human body. It helps to control many body functions by constantly releasing a steady amount of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. This organ (medical term: glandula thyreoidea) is located at the front of the neck, under the voice box.

This fuel is iodine. Iodine is located in such foods as iodized table salt, seafood, bread, and milk. When you eat these foods, the iodine moves into your bloodstream. Your thyroid then removes this essential ingredient from your blood and uses it to make two kinds of thyroid hormone: thyroxine, called T4 because it contains four iodine atoms, and triiodothyronine, or T3, which contains three iodine particles. The thyroid’s output consists primarily of T4. Most of the T3 the body needs is generated outside the thyroid in organs and tissues that use T3, such as the liver, kidneys, and brain. These tissues change T4 from the thyroid into T3 by removing an iodine atom.

When the body requires thyroid hormone, the thyroid secretes it into your bloodstream in quantities needed for the metabolic needs of your cells. The hormone simply slips into cells and attaches to special receptors. The thyroid also requires being told what to do. To make the accurate amount of hormones, the thyroid gland needs the help of another gland: the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland “tells” the thyroid gland whether to release more or fewer hormones into the bloodstream. TSH levels in your bloodstream increase or decline depending on whether there is enough thyroid hormone in your system. Higher levels of TSH prompt the thyroid to generate more hormones until T4 levels come down to a constant level. Conversely, low TSH levels signal the thyroid to slow down creation.

How are thyroid problems diagnosed?

Blood tests are used to find hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Your Thyroid Doctor in Nashik may want to measure your amount of TSH or T4 (or both), and sometimes T3. You also may have a blood examination for certain antibodies. This can determine if your body’s immune system is attacking your thyroid gland. In some situations, you may have other tests—such as an ultrasound or a radioactive scan—to look for problems with your thyroid.

How are thyroid problems treated?

If you have too little thyroid hormone, you can take thyroid replacement medicine. After starting treatment, you will have routine appointments with your physician to make sure you have the right dose of medicine. If you have extremely thyroid hormone, you may take antithyroid medicine to lower your hormone level or radioactive iodine to destroy the thyroid gland. During and after treatment, you will have a routine blood check-up to check your thyroid hormones to see if the treatment is working. In rare cases, surgery may be done.

Dr. Ashutosh Sonawane