Patients often ask: What is the Thyroid?
What is thyroid – your thyroid gland is located towards the front of your neck. Situated along the front of your windpipe, it sits low and is below the laryngeal prominence (better known as the Adam’s apple). This gland secretes essential hormones called thyroid hormones that are responsible for proper growth and development, balanced metabolism, and proper regulation of your body’s temperature.
Where is the thyroid gland located in your body?
While it is not usually visible – unless there is a health problem such as a goitre – you might be able to find an approximate location for the thyroid. To do this, stand in front of a mirror so that you can see your neck, chest and head. With your arms bent and your fingers outstretched, face your inward towards your neck. Gently place your fingers onto both sides of your trachea – your windpipe – below your Adam’s apple using your middle, ring and index fingers. The lump below your Adam’s apple is your thyroid gland. Swallowing a few times may help you to locate the gland easier.
Keep in mind that it may not be easy to find the thyroid without the help of at trained doctor. People with excess fat around their neck will find it difficult to find it unless they have a thyroid disease that has caused the gland to swell in size.
If you do notice that the gland is large or you have other symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hyperthyroid disorders, schedule a time to visit an ENT specialist. Hyperthyroidism is the overproduction of thyroid hormone and can cause symptoms such as anxiety, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, insomnia, unexplained weight loss, and an enlarged thyroid.
Hypothyroidism or hypothyroid disorder is the inadequate production of thyroid hormone and can cause symptoms such as unexplained weight gain, chronic constipation, facial swelling, depression, muscle and joint pain, elevated cholesterol levels, and loss of hair.
If you have any questions about thyroid or parathyroid surgery, you should speak to your local doctor, who will arrange to contact your thyroid surgeon.