The thyroid is an endocrine gland located in the base of the neck on both sides of the lower part of the larynx and upper part of the trachea.
It consists of two lateral lobes connected by an isthmus, and sometimes a third medial or pyramidal lobe extends upward from it. The gland is made up of microscopic vesicles, called thyroid follicles, which are made up of cells called follicular cells. These follicular cells contain colloid, a mixture of the protein thyroglobulin and iodine, from which thyroxine and triiodothyronine are synthesized.
The thyroid controls how quickly the body burns energy, makes proteins and how sensitive the body should be to other hormones. It aids in this process through the use of such hormones as thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronin (T3). These hormones regulate the rate of metabolism and the growth and rate of function of many of the other systems in the body. Iodine is an essential component of both T3 and T4. The thyroid also plays a role in calcium homeostatis.
The thyroid and House
Thyroid problems often cause the type of unusual symptoms seen on episodes of House, and indeed diseases such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are usually seen in the differential diagnosis. However, no patient to date has been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, although many others have been diagnosed with disorders of other glands.