10 Functions of the Thyroid Gland
1. Located at the base of your neck, the thyroid gland is a butterfly shape, about 4cm long, with two fibrous lobes either side of the trachea that store thyroid hormones. The two lobes are connected by a piece of tissue known as the isthmus. The outer capsule connects to voice box muscles, vessels, and nerves.
7. Autoimmune diseases affecting the thyroid occur when the immune system attacks the thyroid, leading to Graves or Hashimoto’s Graves is the over-production of the hormones. Inflammation of the thyroid gland is called thyroiditis and a special form of thyroiditis is Hashimoto’s, which is a genetic disease. Occasionally it can occur in women after giving childbirth.
8. About 200 million people in the world, of all ages, have some kind of thyroid disease. This equates to approximately 1 in 6 Australians experiencing issues. Unfortunately, women are 5 to 8 times more likely to have thyroid problems and the problem becomes greater with age.
9. For people with low levels of thyroid hormones, hypothyroidism becomes a life-long condition, that can be controlled with medication.10. If the thyroid gland grows in size, this is a condition called goitre. Individual lumps can grow on the gland, and this is called nodular goitre. In cases of cancer, the thyroid is removed. And yes, you can live without your thyroid by taking daily hormone substitution medication.
Written by Mona Hecke
Mona Hecke is a degree qualified Naturopath, nutrition specialist and health and wellness writer.
With over 20 years in the health industry, beginning with a focus on children and families, and a bestselling book ‘The Lunchbox Revolution’, Mona is now empowering women through education and conversation to take action and embrace change. Gut health, mindfulness, nutrition, hormones, and menopause are the topics that women want and need to know to create their healthy future.
Mona holds certifications in Lifestyle Coaching, Kinesiology, holistic herbal medicine, and nutrition.
A recognised leader in the health industry, Mona’s strong social media presence and passion for influencing change will continue to be a catalyst for health reform for the benefit of every Australian.