The thyroid gland and its history

The history of the human body, its anatomy and interconnected functions is fascinating and it is appropriate to know its development from initial ignorance through new and new knowledge to today's, which form the basis of further knowledge for future ages.

A disease of the thyroid gland called goiter was known thousands of years before n. l. The ancient Greeks called this enlargement of the thyroid gland bonchocele, and this name lasted until the 19th century.

The history of the discovery of the thyroid gland dates back to the Renaissance period, when it was around 1500. l. described by Leonardo da Vinci, and about 40 years later Vesalius did so.

At the beginning of the 17th century, we know its definitive anatomical location - the front side of the neck, which begins at the oblique line on the thyroid cartilage (below the laryngeal protrusion). The unmistakable resemblance of its shape to the Greek shield, which was the most important protection against enemies in ancient Greece, inspired Thomas Wharton in 1656 to create the distinctive name thyreoid (the shield) gland and this name, glandula thyreoidea (thyroid perennial gland), times.

A lot of information about the occurrence of goiter comes from the reign of Napoleon I, when a large number of soldiers did not wear uniforms due to their short stature and due to the wide neck, which is the primary feature of goiter, they could not fasten the collar.

In the following period, various health problems related to overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or its insufficient function (hypothyroidism) were reported, but at that time they were not yet associated with it.

These include:

  • mental restlessness,
  • conspicuously raised eyes,
  • weight problems
  • heart beat,
  • discomfort when swallowed,
  • increased fatigue,
  • muscle weakness,
  • etc.

The field of thyroid function research records many names of important researchers, even Emil Theor Koher (1841 - 1917) was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work.

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