What Role Does My Thyroid Play in My Body?

What Role Does My Thyroid Play in My Body?

You likely don’t give your thyroid much thought, until something goes wrong and your thyroid hormone levels are out of balance. At this point, you begin to truly appreciate the incredibly large role that your thyroid plays in your overall health and wellness.

As part of our educational efforts, the team of medical experts here at Rockwall Surgical Specialists is using this month’s blog post to explore the role that your thyroid plays in your body — and it’s no small one.

Thyroid basics

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, right below your Adam’s apple. This small gland is about 2 inches long and features an isthmus in the center flanked by two lobes. 

This gland is primarily responsible for producing thyroid hormones — triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These are chemical messengers that regulate a wide range of functions in your body.

Thyroid hormones and your health

The most important role your thyroid hormones play is regulating your metabolism. People often talk about metabolism in terms of gaining or losing weight, but metabolism is essential for every cell in your body. Metabolism describes chemical reactions in your body that turn food into the energy that each of your cells needs to thrive and function.

As if your metabolism weren’t important enough, your thyroid hormones also regulate your:

For these systems to function optimally, it’s important that your thyroid produces the correct amount of T3 and T4 hormones. Any imbalance can cause a wide range of consequences.

Problems in your thyroid

Several issues can crop up in your thyroid, such as nodules, cancer, goiter, or diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The end result of thyroid disease can often be broken down into two categories:

Depending upon the extent of the problem, both of these conditions can lead to a wide range of symptoms that can affect your physical and mental health in meaningful ways. For a more detailed look at some of the common signs of thyroid disease, please visit this previous blog post.

The good news is that there are solutions for restoring balance to your thyroid hormones, including medications and/or surgery. As experts in thyroid surgery, we can remove diseased portions of your thyroid, which may entail removing parts of your thyroid or the entire gland, to ensure your overall health. Rest assured, you can function well without your thyroid gland as long as you take medications that replace these important hormones.

If you’ve been told you may need thyroid surgery, you can trust the experienced surgeons at Rockwall Surgical Specialists. Please contact us at one of our locations in Rowlett, Rockwall, Greenville, Terrell, or Forney, Texas.

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