What is the thyroid gland?

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland that sits low in your neck along the front of the trachea (windpipe). It has two lobes, left and right, and is connected by a band of tissue, called the isthmus. It is responsible for secreting thyroid hormones, which act throughout the body to influence metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. It is located near several important structures including the superior and recurrent laryngeal nerves (which control the vocal cords) and the parathyroid glands (which regulate the body’s calcium levels)
For more information go to endocrinediseases.org:
Background: What is the thyroid?
The thyroid gland is one of the major endocrine organs in the body, located in the center of the neck just below the Adam's apple. The main job of the thyroid gland is to control the body's metabolism. Through the production of the thyroid hormone, the gland affects an individual's energy levels, temperature control systems, pulse rate, how fast food moves through the GI tract, sugar production and consumption in the body, among many other important functions. 
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck. Your thyroid gland produces a hormone (thyroid hormone) that helps to regulate your metabolism.
If your thyroid produces too little hormone (hypothyroidism), you may feel tired, cold, and achy, and experience mental fogginess.
If your thyroid produces too much hormone (hyperthyroidism) you may feel hot and nervous, sweat excessively and have trouble concentrating.
The thyroid gland is located in the neck, just below the "Adam's apple." It is shaped like an "H," with two sides and a small piece of tissue connecting them. The gland controls the body's use of energy and how sensitive it is to other hormones, which is important for growth and the function of the body. In addition to thyroid hormones, the thyroid also produces a substance called calcitonin, which helps control the levels of calcium in the body.

Continue Learning about Thyroid


A member of our endocrine system, the thyroid gland produces hormones that help control many of our body functions, such as weight and temperature.Located at the base of our neck, this butterfly-shaped gland makes several hormones...

, which are collectively known as thyroid hormones. These hormones are especially key in the brain development of infants and children. Thyroxine, also known as T4, is the primary hormone secreted by the thyroid gland; this hormone helps control our metabolism, a chemical process that turns our food into energy. A lack of iodine in your food can cause the thyroid to swell, a condition called a goiter. Several other disorders and diseases can affect this gland, including cancer. If you notice swelling in your neck or feel a lump, make sure you see your doctor; this could indicate a problem with this important gland.

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.