Thyroid is a small gland, described mostly to be in the shape of a butterfly, located in front of the neck and above the collarbone. The thyroid is one of the most important glands of the human body. Since the thyroid gland is responsible for secreting important hormones in the body, it also helps in controlling the amount of hormones in the bloodstream. It also helps regulate a number of metabolic processes in the body. Although the thyroid gland appears small and weighs less, it controls body hormones, heartbeat, and metabolism.
Thyroid gland influences some of the most important functions of the body; they can cause goiter – a harmless enlargement of the thyroid gland to life-threatening diseases like cancer as well. Hyperthyroidism:Hyperthyroidism is also commonly known as an overactive thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid glands go on an overdrive and start producing abnormally high quantities of thyroid hormones. Excessive quantities of hormones in the blood stream can cause:
Hypothyroidism:Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland, in contrast, is underactive and fails to produce the necessary quantities of thyroid hormones. Since the body needs certain amount of thyroid hormones for energy production, metabolism and growth, any drop in the amount of thyroid hormones causes:
Treatment using antithyroid drugs, thyroid surgery, iodine therapy, and synthetic thyroid hormone therapy is generally prescribed based on the actual condition. However, stem cell therapy is gaining popularity and acceptance. The regenerative capability of the stem cells has shown tremendous scope for treating patients with hypothyroidism.