Senin, 25 Maret 2013

The Thyroid gland

   The Thyroid gland

     The Thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in the body. It is positioned on the neck just below the Larynx and has two lobes with one on either side of the trachea. It is involved in the production of the hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). These hormones increase the metabolic activity of the body‘s cells. The thyroid also produces and releases the hormone calcitonin (thyrocalcitonin) which contributes to the regulation of blood calcium levels. Thyrocalcitonin or calcitonin decreases the concentration of calcium in the blood. Most of the calcium removed from the blood is stored in the bones.

   The thyroid hormone consists of two components, thyroxine and iodine. This hormone increases the metabolism of most body cells. A deficiency of iodine in the diet leads to the enlargement of the thyroid gland, known as a simple goiter. Hypothyroidism during early development leads to cretinism. In adults, it produces myxedema, characterized by obesity and lethargy. Hyperthyroidism leads to a condition known as exophthalmic goiter, characterized by weight loss as well as hyperactive and irritable behavior.

The thyroid gland is a two-lobed gland that manifests a remarkably powerful active transport mechanism for up-taking iodide ions from the blood.

    As blood flows through the gland, iodide is converted to an active form of iodine. This iodine combines with an amino acid called tyrosine. Two molecules of iodinated tyrosine then combine to form thryroxine. Following its formation, the thyroxine becomes bound to a polysaccharide-protein material called thyroglobulin. The normal thyroid gland may store several weeks supply of thyroxine in this bound form. An enzymatic splitting of the thyroxine from the thyroglobulin occurs when a specific hormone is released into the blood.

   This hormone, produced by the pituitary gland, is known as thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH stimulates certain major rate-limiting steps in thyroxine secretion, and thereby alters its rate of release. A variety of bodily defects, either dietary, hereditary, or disease induced, may decrease the amount of thyroxine released into the blood.

   Thyroxine serves to stimulate oxidative metabolism in cells; it increases the oxygen consumption and heat production of most body tissues, a notable exception being the brain. Thyroxine is also necessary for normal growth. The most likely explanation being that thyroxine promotes the effects of growth hormone on protein synthesis. The absence of thyroxine significantly reduces the ability of growth hormone to stimulate amino acid uptake and RNA synthesis. Thyroxine also plays a crucial role in the closely related area of organ development, particularly that of the central nervous system.

   If there is an insufficient amount of thyroxine, a condition referred to as hypothyroidism results. Symptoms of hypothyroidism stem from the fact that there is a reduction in the rate of oxidative energy-releasing reactions within the body cells. Usually the patient shows puffy skin, sluggishness, and lowered vitality. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, decreased libido, inability to tolerate cold, muscle pain and spasm, insomnia and brittle nails. 

Sumber : Bpk. Dr. Iskandar Zulkarnain

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