Thyroid Disease

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Approximately 20 million Americans are currently suffering from thyroid disease. This common, yet subtle disease can be have an immense impact on one’s health and lifestyle. I chose to research thyroid disease because I have had blood tests done in speculation of this disease because of the similar symptoms I was experiencing. Although I do not have thyroid disease, I am curious about how it affects the body and why this disease often goes undiagnosed. This system involving the thyroid is crucial in regulating the body’s hormones and keeping them. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that is located anteriorly in the lower neck. It is an endocrine gland made of two vertically elongated lobes that are connected by the isthmus. Each lobe is between twelve and fifteen millimeters long. The thyroid is coated with a fine fibrous sheath and is surrounded by cartilage and muscles in the neck such as the sternomastoid muscle. Superior to the collarbone, the thyroid is situated next to the larynx and trachea. When swallowing, the thyroid moves because it is rigidly attached to the trachea. On the posterior side of the each lobe, there are two parathyroid glands, which are responsible for assisting in calcium regulation. The weight of the thyroid can vary from twenty to fifty grams in adults. Typically, women have a slightly heavier thyroid and it expands during menstruation and pregnancy. Inside the two lobes, the thyroid is made of thyroid tissue that contains many smaller lobules and that are linked with connective tissues. Each lobule contains a large number of follicles that store droplets of the thyroid hormones. The thyroid is a crucial part of the endocrine system that is responsible for growth and development in the body. It controls the rate of activities in the body and determines how fast the heart beats and how fast calories are burned. Three

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