Keeping the Homefires Burning

The Wisdom of the Thyroid Gland

Ashley Davidoff MD

Copyright 2010

You are a mere 4 by 2

But have the power to keep our

50-100trillion cells warm and comfy

How do you do it?

What is your wisdom?

In our little earth

In the year 2011 of the rabbit

We only have around 7 billion

And about half of these

Suffer the poverty of food and shelter

In the heat of the winter

Many go cold

And 22,000 of our young ones

Die every day

How do you do what you do?

What is your wisdom?

How do you keep all happy and comfy

And how do you keep the home fires burning?

In the early days of man

We were ignorant of your simple need

Just a tincture of iodine was your request

Deficient in this dietary substance

Our mountain people

Suffered with “elephant of the throat”

And their children

With the terrible disease of the cretin

“Deaf and dumb and goiter hanging down to the waist”

Well a little of our wisdom started

Just before the first year of the Rat

In the year around 2700 BC

When the brilliant Emperor Shen Nung

Drank the first cup of tea,

Used the cannabis weed of the earth for gout,

And the weed from the sea to treat elephant throat

Later some said that you “hang like the scrotum”

And others said you were the size of a “jubube”

It took da Vinci and Vesalius to draw you,

Eustachian to name your isthmus

And finally Wharton to give you the name of

“Thyreoidea” – an oblong shield

Do you think he meant you Mother Shelter?

Or the solid cartilage lying just above you?

Matter not you are truly like mother shield who

Keeps the home fires burning

And everybody warm and comfy

Wang Hei said of the goiter that

Thyroid extract of 50 pigs mixed with cold wine

Would do the trick

Dusault  -tried  a partial extrication of the  maladie

And Dupuytern was warned of your highly flammable vasculature

When he fiddled with your nakedness

While  Reysch went beyond and deep

And found your follicles in the scope of a microlens

Then in France

Coutrois saw iodine in the weed of the sea

Prout recommended the violet chemical for the disease of mountain people

And then and then…

Kendall discovered your magic bullet and called it thyroxine

Now simply as T4

Three tons of animal thyroid yielded but 33gms of the drug

And in 1917 a mere cost of $350 per gram

And at about that time the Model T was selling for about $575

When a wage to make her was about $2.50 per day

So enter Sir Charles Harington of England

The factory line of T4 becomes real

And then enter Rosalind Pitt Rivers also from the Isles of Britain

With yet another magic bullet

This time triiodothyronine

Or simply Miss  T3

So from whence is your wisdom and your magic

You produce a T3 and a T4

Now we know

Simple names for complex function

And we begin to learn that your wisdom reaches further

Hoskins unveils your “servo mechanism”

Humility in the presence of greater pituitary power

With angel messenger TSH

And you seek no beef

When your horses are held

When production is greater than needed

And you give great feedback

Not too much and not too little but just right, you always seem to say

And then we threw you another curved ball

Straight from the skies came

“Little Boy” to Hiroshima and

“Fat Man” to Nagasaki

And then another ball of fire

In the case of Chernobyl

These events shook the core of your nucleus

And in some cases you had no choice

Other than that of course

It is not always smooth sailing

When your fires burn too fast

You show the whites of their eyes

And their hands begin to shake

 And all cells are on heat

Beware the rage of thyroid in the eye of the storm

When your fires burn too slow

They speak in low voice

And they always feel the cold and heavy

Beware the calm when the fires are almost out

Cold death from coma is scary

We stand in awe O oblong shield

The one that keeps the home fires burning

Using unique magic bullets

To keep 50-100 trillion cells

Churning at a comfortable pace

In the heart of winter and heat of the summer

Not too much nor too little, but just right you say

While remaining humble to the greater power…

This is your wisdom