The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland covering the windpipe in your neck. It is part of the endocrine system, a network of glands which regulate tissue and organ function by secreting hormones into the bloodstream. The thyroid gland regulates metabolism, and growth and development with thyroid hormones (T4, T3). Thyroid hormones regulate cell metabolism (energy production), which affects nearly every organ and cell in the body.

When the thyroid gland produces less hormones than the body needs, the result is hypothyroidism. When more hormones are produced than necessary, the result is hyperthyroidism. Timely detection and proper treatment of these conditions allows patients to lead normal active lives. But, left untreated, serious negative health effects can result.