Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located at the base of your neck responsible for many aspects of how your body functions.
Your thyroid comprises an isthmus, the middle part of your thyroid, and two lobes, with each lobe sitting on either side of the isthmus.
What is a gland?
A gland is an organ in your body that makes hormones, sweat, saliva, tears, milk, and digestive juices. Your body has two types of glands- exocrine and endocrine glands.
Endocrine glands, like your thyroid, secrete hormones into your blood. The other endocrine glands in your body include the pituitary gland, parathyroid gland, hypothalamus, adrenal glands, pineal gland, ovaries, and testes.
Where is your thyroid located?
Your thyroid is located at the front of your neck, along the front of your trachea, above your collarbone, and below your larynx. In males, the thyroid can be found directly below the Adam's apple.
Can I feel my thyroid?
Yes, you can do your thyroid neck check at home, however, this should not replace a visit with your healthcare provider, who can better assess your thyroid through physical examination, bloodwork, and imaging. It should be noted that it is normal not to feel your thyroid.
Now, to palpate your thyroid it is best to stand in front of the mirror with your neck extending and chin pointing up towards the ceiling. With your neck extended back, take a sip of water and visualize the shape of your thyroid as you swallow. By doing so, you will be better able to see any irregularities in your thyroid.
You can assess for any enlargements, swelling, bumps, or protrusions as you swallow. Next, you can begin to gently touch the area around your thyroid, checking for any swelling, lumps, enlargements, or irregularities. You can repeat this step a few times and observe your neck.
The thyroid is located directly below Adam's apple so be sure not to confuse your Adam's apple with your thyroid. If you see any bulges or irregularities, consult with your healthcare provider.
What does your thyroid do?
Your thyroid is responsible for many of your body's functions. Your thyroid gland helps release and control your thyroid hormones which help regulate metabolism. When it starts to malfunction it is called hyperthyroidism. At NES, we treat hyperthyroidism see what our process looks like.
Your thyroid hormones include thyroxine, also known as T4, and triiodothyronine or T3. Your thyroid hormones play a significant role in your body's metabolism helping regulate your body temperature:
How is my thyroid related to other glands?
Your thyroid is supervised by your pituitary gland. Your pituitary gland is a pea-sized gland located at the base of your brain. Your pituitary gland helps to control the number of thyroid hormones that float around your bloodstream.
Your pituitary gland releases a hormone called TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) which is sent to your thyroid, telling it how much thyroid hormone to release to get the body back to normal.
The pituitary gland senses whether there is too much or too little thyroid hormone and therefore adjusts the amount of its own hormone, TSH.
How can integrative health help your thyroid-related problems? Learn what integrative health is and contact us to know more!
Take the first step towards getting your thyroid back on track:
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