What is the Primary Role of the Thyroid Gland?

The thyroid gland is located in the neck and the butterfly-shaped gland produces 3 hormones, which makes it a critical organ, as it feeds the body with the right blend of hormones. There are many glands in your body and they each have a specific task or tasks; the thyroid is specifically connected to maintaining a metabolic balance, which is vital for the body as a whole. Australians are often diagnosed with thyroid issues, which should be treated asap.

Producing too little or too much hormones

The condition, hypothyroidism is when the thyroid does not produce enough hormones, while too many is a condition by the name of hyperthyroidism; both can be serious and the physician would prescribe medication that resolves the hormone imbalance.

The importance of metabolism

Metabolism is the process of transforming the food you consume into energy that your body can use, which is obviously important. If, for example, a person has a high metabolic rate, the body will not store fat, as it burns calories very effectively, whereas a person who has a slow metabolism would be more likely to put on weight, as the calories consumed exceed the requirement and excess energy is stored as fat. Tests can be carried out to determine your rate of metabolism and if there are issues, medication usually restores the balance. Many Australians take thyroid supplements to maintain a balance and you can order this product from the online health clinic.

Hormones T4 & T3

These are two important hormones that tell the body how much energy to use; a normal thyroid gland will maintain the balance, creating more hormones as required. The pituitary gland is located in the brain and its role is to monitor the amount of T3 and T4 in the blood and when there is an imbalance, the pituitary actually alters its own hormone production to compensate accordingly.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)

Symptoms include:

  • Feeling anxious and irritable
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle tremors
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Vision problems

Symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)

Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue, tiredness
  • Gaining weight
  • Forgetfulness
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Dry hair, hair loss
  • Hoarse voice
  • Intolerant to cold temperatures

Taking thyroid supplements

There are tests that can be carried out to determine thyroid performance; blood tests are used to determine the amount of hormones in the blood and depending on the results, medication can be prescribed to redress the balance.

Blood tests are used to detect:

  • Thyroiditis
  • Graves’ disease
  • Hashimoto’s disease
  • Goiter
  • Thyroid nodule
  • Thyroid cancer


The way the thyroid looks can tell a doctor a lot about this important gland; imaging might be used to diagnose a condition.

Potential treatment

There are several ways that the thyroid can be treated:

  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy

Medication prescribed might include antithyroid drugs that block the thyroid’s ability to secrete hormones; beta blockers are sometimes prescribed for an irregular heartbeat. Radioactive iodine damaged thyroid cells and is a treatment for thyroid cancer.

Thyroid issues can affect people of all ages, although women seem to outnumber men and if you have any of the above symptoms, your GP might refer you to a thyroid specialist.

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