Thyroid Gland

Definition - What does Thyroid Gland mean?

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped glandular organ found at the base of the neck below the Adam's apple. As a part of the body's endocrine system, this gland secretes hormones that contribute to the regulation of several body functions. The main hormones produced by the thyroid gland are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These two thyroid hormones are distributed throughout the body via the circulatory system. T3 and T4 play a role in the regulation of the body's heart rate and metabolism. The thyroid gland's hormones also affect temperature regulation and growth. The thyroid hormones are essential for brain development in infants and children.

The thyroid gland may also be referred to as the thyroid.

WorkplaceTesting explains Thyroid Gland

The thyroid works in conjunction with other organs of the endocrine system, particularly the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. These organs help to control the thyroid glands' production of two main hormones, T3 and T4. To produce these hormones, the body needs iodine. This mineral is obtained through diet and without it a person may suffer from a lack of thyroid hormones. A person with an imbalance of thyroid hormones may experiences mood disorders, sleep problems, temperature sensitivity and muscles pains.

Conditions that may result from thyroid disease or malfunction include goiter, hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism. Additional thyroid related conditions include an inflammation of the thyroid called thyroiditis, Graves disease, and thyroid cancer. Detection of thyroid disorders can be made using blood tests, scans of the thyroid, or biopsy. However, many patients report adverse health symptoms at levels well within ranges currently considered normal on blood tests. Treatments for thyroid diseases include medication, treatment with radiation, and surgery.

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