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Thyroid Gland

The thyroid is a gland that controls the growth, metabolism, and cell differentiation. It is located in the neck near the trachea, and secretes the hormones triodothyronine (T3), thyroxin (T4), and calcitonin.
The thyroid stimulating hormone level is regulated by a negative feedback system. The pituitary sends a message by TSH to make and release triodothyronine and thyroxin. Calcitionin reduces high calcium levels by making the calcium go to the bone and increasing the amount that goes to the urine.
At birth, the thyroid controls the growth of the brain. A thyroid problem can occur if it grows too slow or too fast. If thyroid deficiency is not detected and treated early, the child may develop mental retardation. A thyroid deficiency in childhood will affect his or her body size. It can be prevented by treatment.
Hyperthyroidism is the overproduction of thyroid hormones. It causes gradual weight loss, tinned skin, and increased sweating. It affects about three of every thousand people, usually females between the ages of twenty and forty.
Hypothyroidism is not producing enough thyroid hormones. It causes weight gain in adults and mental retardation in infants. This affects about one of every thousand men, two of every thousand women, one of fifteen hundred children, and one of every five thousand infants (at birth). Addison's disease is another thyroid problem that consists of dark patches of skin usually around the mouth, nipples, and vagina. A thyroid disease in which the person's skin is thin and easily bruised is Cushing's disease. They may also have purple stretch marks on their abdomen and rough, thick, dry skin. Some symptoms of a thyroid deficiency are tiredness, wondering thoughts, and short attention span.

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