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Women's Health

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Human Anatomy

Picture of Human Thyroid Gland

Picture of the Thyroid

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© 2014 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits low on the front of the neck. Your thyroid lies below your Adam’s apple, along the front of the windpipe. The thyroid has two side lobes, connected by a bridge (isthmus) in the middle. When the thyroid is its normal size, you can’t feel it.

Brownish-red in color, the thyroid is rich with blood vessels. Nerves important for voice quality also pass through the thyroid.

The thyroid secretes several hormones, collectively called thyroid hormones. The main hormone is thyroxine, also called T4. Thyroid hormones act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. During infancy and childhood, adequate thyroid hormone is crucial for brain development.

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