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What does the thyroid gland do?

The thyroid is a large gland in the neck. Its job is to release hormones that make sure the body has the right amount of energy it needs to do all its jobs.

The thyroid gland uses iodine to produce thyroid hormones—primarily thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). T4 gets converted into T3 (a more active form) in the blood. Thyroid hormones regulate our metabolic rate and affect weight and energy level. The thyroid also produces calcitonin, which contributes to calcium balance. Thyroid hormone production is regulated by a feedback system involving the pituitary gland (a small gland at the base of the brain).

For more information go to endocrinediseases.org: Background: What is the thyroid?

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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.