The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland in your neck. It makes two hormones that are secreted into the blood: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The thyroid gland lies in the front of your neck in a position just below your Adam's apple
The release of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland is controlled by thyrotrophin-releasing hormone from the hypothalamus in the brain and by thyroid-stimulating hormone produced by the pituitary gland. This forms part of a feedback loop called the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. The thyroid gland produces thyroxine, which is a relatively inactive prohormone and lower amounts of the active hormone, triiodothyronine. Collectively, thyroxine and triiodothyronine are referred to as the thyroid hormones. Twenty percent of the body's triiodothyronine is made by the thyroid gland the other 80% comes from thyroxine converted by organs such as the liver or kidneys.
Thyrotoxicosis is the term given when there is too much thyroid hormone in the bloodstream. It may be a result of overactivity of the thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) as in Graves' disease, inflammation of the thyroid or a benign thyroid tumor. Symptoms of thyrotoxicosis include intolerance to heat, weight loss, increased appetite, increased bowel movements, irregular menstrual cycle, rapid and irregular heartbeat, palpitations, tiredness, irritability, tremor, hair loss and retraction of the eyelids resulting in a 'staring' appearance.
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