January is the Thyroid Awareness Month which calls attention to the various health problems connected to the thyroid. The thyroid is a vital hormone gland. It plays a major role in the metabolism, growth, and development of the human body. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland formed by two lobes located at the neck inferiorly to the larynx above the trachea.
The thyroid gland produces thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) hormones. Besides, it produces calcitonin. Calcitonin is involved in regulating the levels of calcium and phosphate in the blood.
There are several disorders associated with the thyroid gland with most problems concerning the production of thyroid hormones. One in eight women will develop thyroid problems during her lifetime, particularly after pregnancy and during menopause.
The most common thyroid condition is hypothyroidism. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland is underactive, while in hyperthyroidism, it is overactive. Also, thyroid nodules are quite common structures developing in the thyroid gland. Most thyroid nodules are benign, but in about 10% of cases, they become malignant.
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