POST TIME: 14 January, 2019 00:00 00 AM
From the Editor
M. Shamsur Rahman

From the Editor

Our cover this week is Thyroid disorder. The thyroid is a small gland, measuring about 2 inches across, lies just under the skin below the 'Adam's Apple' in the neck. The two halves (lobes) of the gland are connected in the middle (called the isthums). The thyroid gland secretes thyroid hormones, which control the speed at which the body's chemical functions work (metabolic rate). This hormone influences the metabolic rate in two ways: by stimulating almost every tissue in the body to produce proteins and by increasing the amount of Oxygen that cells use.

Thyroid hormones affect many vital body functions: the heart rate, the respiratory rate, the rate at which calories are burnt, skin maintenance, body growth, heat production, fertility and digestion.  Through the hormones it produces, the thyroid gland influences almost all the metabolic processes in the body. Thyroid disease can range from a small, harmless goitre that needs no treatment, as it does not turn malignant.

The most common thyroid problems involve irregular production of thyroid hormones. Too much of these vital body chemicals result in a condition known as hyperthyroidism, insufficient hormone and production leads to hypothyroidism.  All types of hyperthroidism are due to an over production of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism, by contrast, stems from an under production of thyroid hormones. Although cancer of the thyroid gland is the most common endocrine malignancy other than ovarian cancer, it is still quite rare.

Treatment for thyroid disease stemming from over or under production of thyroid hormones, both conventional and alternative treatments offer varied method to restore hormone levels to their proper balance. Conventional treatments rely mainly on drug therapy and surgery.