Symptoms and Diagnosis



Thyroid Gland Anatomy and Physiology




The thyroid is a brownish-red, highly vascular two-inch gland. In humans, it has a "butterfly" shape, with two lateral lobes that are connected by a narrow section called the isthmus. The thyroid is located just below the surface of the skin and therefore is readily accessible for examination, both visually and by palpation.


The thyroid plays an important role in regulating how fast your body is running (metabolism). In fact, the T4 and T3 hormones are responsible for controlling the rate of metabolism of every cell in the human body. Iodine is necessary for the production of both hormones. The levels of hormones secreted by the thyroid are controlled by thyroid-stimulating hormone released by the pituitary gland.


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