Advertisement

As a teen, what is the thymus?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

It may sound like the name of a mythological Greek god, but the thymus is where your T cells mature. When you were a child, your thymus, which is located in front of your heart, was actually the size of your ticker. It shrinks dramatically as you age, until we can barely find it in eighty-year-olds. Presumably, this shrinkage is because you need a stronger immune response as a child, since you haven’t yet been exposed to many of the viruses and bacteria that can make you sick.

YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

More About this Book

YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

A few years ago, we wrote YOU: The Owner’s Manual, which taught people about the inner workings of their bodies—and how to keep them running strong. But you know what? There’s a big difference...

Continue Learning about Teen Perspective: Understanding Anatomy

How do nails grow?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Your nails grow from the area under your cuticle (called the matrix) the same way hair grows from fo...
More Answers
What is the epidermis layer of skin?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
The epidermis is the outside layer of the skin and is made up of proteins called keratin. It has...
More Answers
For a teen, what is endometriosis?
Hugo D. Ribot Jr., MDHugo D. Ribot Jr., MD
Teens can get endometriosis just the same as adults. One should consider endometriosis in teens who ...
More Answers
As a Teen, Is It Normal to Have Vaginal Discharge?
As a Teen, Is It Normal to Have Vaginal Discharge?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.