Thyroid disease affects some 200 million people worldwide, 1 in 10 Canadians, with 50% of them undiagnosed1, and 20 million Americans, with 60% of them unaware of their condition2. But chances are, unless you or someone you know has a thyroid problem, you know little about this amazing, little workhorse of a gland. It has the incredible responsibility of affecting every cell, every tissue and every function in your body. The thyroid secretes a hormone that is only one of two substances in the body, along with vitamin D, that has a receptor site on each and every one of more than 3 trillion cells in our body. The thyroid plays a much more important role in health than you may realize.
The thyroid is located in your neck, just below your Adam’s apple and above your collar bone and looks like a butterfly with outstretched wings on either side of the throat. In its broader view, it is part of the endocrine system, working with a group of other glands to control homeostasis (the maintenance of an internal stable environment). Glands that make up the endocrine system secrete a variety of hormones that help with stress response, aids in the reproductive processes, and enable growth, and development, and regulate the internal body thermostat.
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