K. SOMERVILLE, CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY K. SOMERVILLE, CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Thyroid gland. Artwork showing the thyroid gland (W-shaped). It lies on thyroid cartilage (upper centre) with the banded trachea (windpipe) below. The thyroid, located in the neck, is a two-lobed gland. It is an endocrine gland, one which opens directly into the bloodstream, which secretes the hormones thyroxine and calcitonin. These hormones regulate energy levels and body metabolism, and are vital for normal mental and physical development in children. A lack of these hormones may cause cretinism in infants and myxoedema (thickening of the skin and other tissues) in adults.
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