The thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly and usually weighs less than one ounce. Thyroid cartilage covers the larynx (rub your fingers along your neck, and you will feel the ridges of the cartilage). There are four small oval glands called the parathyroid glands. There are two on each side of the wings of the butterfly shaped thyroid gland.
Endocrine system is made up of several major glands that control hormone development the body: They are interrelated, and it is difficult to describe the function of individual glands without discussing the other glands: hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenals, pineal, reproductive (ovaries, testes), thyroid, and parathyroid. For the purpose of this article, the concentration will be on the thyroid gland and parathyroid glands with a little peek at the pituitary gland.
The Pituitary Gland has two parts – the anterior lobe and the anterior lobe. The hormones are regulated by the hypothalamus gland.
The pituitary gland is the size of a little green pea and is located at the base of the brain. It is considered the most important part of the endocrine system. It controls the production of hormones in the other glands. The following is how it works on the thyroid and parathyroid gland.
A Closer Look At the Thyroid Gland and Its Function
The anterior lobe of the pituitary gland provides the following for the thyroid. The hormones produced in the thyroid gland regulate the body's metabolism. The pituitary sends a thyroid stimulating hormone (THS) to produce thyroid hormones.
In children, the thyroid gland plays an important role in the bone growth. For children, it is responsible for development of the brain and nervous system. The pituitary gland sends hormones to the thyroid to stimulate growth of bone and tissue. In adults, the hormone regulates the proper amount of fat and muscle. The thyroid cells are the only cells in the body that can absorb iodine. Iodine is a trace mineral that maintains metabolism (turning food into energy).
Iodine combines tyrosine (an amino acid that is the building blocks of cells). Tyrosine + 3 iodine molecules make T3, or trilodothyronine.. When Tyrosine mixes with 4 iodine molecules it is T4, or thyroxine. Although this appears to be just scientific names, it does have an important meaning to individuals:
A healthy thyroid produces 80% of T4 to 20% of T3. A person whose thyroid does not produce enough T3 or too much T3 is unable to maintain proper metabolic function. Too much T3 leads to the body to lose weight, become nervous, or cause emotional disturbance. Too little T3 and the body slows down, and a person may put on excessive weight. A person's sense of wellbeing is affected, and they just “don't feel good.”
The Parathyroid Glands located behind the thyroid controls blood-calcium. The calcium in the blood is important for nerve functioning, muscle contractions, blood clotting and glandular secretion. When there is not enough calcium, the body leeches calcium from the bone.
How the thyroid and parathyroid glands interact with one another.
Without each other, the body would be unable to produce calcium that is important for bone growth and health. The thyroid gland produces the hormone calcitonin and the parathyroid hormone comes from the parathyroid gland. Parathyroid hormone and calcitonin join to control calcium and phosphorous stability in bone health.
The endocrine system is interrelated. It is difficult to individualize separate functions from the whole.