About the Thyroid
The thyroid is a gland, a part of the endocrine system that employs a complex language of special chemicals to regulate all the systems of the body. Shaped like a butterfly, the thyroid is located in the neck, in front of the windpipe or trachea, under the voicebox – the larynx.
It produces two hormones - tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Secreted into the bloodstream and carried throughout the body, they control whether food is immediately converted to energy or stored for later.
The thyroid is like the orchestra conductor, regulating the entire body’s metabolism. It sends signals to every organ and system instructing them to go to work, slow down or take a break – depending on the body’s energy needs.
Integrated into the thyroid are four small bean-shaped organs known as the parathtyroid glands. They regulate how the body uses calcium and phosphorus and are critical to developing and maintaining healthy bone.
The thyroid and parathyroids do not work alone, however. They have their own conductor, the gland known as the pituitary. Located at the base of the brain, the pituitary produces hormones that regulate thyroid, accelerating it or slowing it down according to the body’s needs, moment to moment.