First Time User? Enroll now.
Get the latest on virtual and in-person appointments, extra steps we’re taking to keep you safe, current visitor restrictions and Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources and information.
Home > Health Library > Thyroid gland
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that lies in front of the windpipe, also known as the trachea, and just below the voice box, also called the larynx. This gland makes hormones that regulate the way the body uses energy.
The thyroid gland uses iodine from food to make two thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The thyroid gland stores these hormones and releases them into the bloodstream as they are needed.
If the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, it is called hypothyroidism. If the gland produces too many hormones, it is called hyperthyroidism. Problems with the thyroid gland can affect many body systems. Changes in weight, heartbeat, body temperature, digestion, and muscle function are common. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can be treated, usually with medicine and sometimes with surgery.
Current as of: July 29, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.