The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located low in the front of the neck. It is brownish-red in color. Nerves that help in boosting voice quality and blood vessels run through the thyroid gland, notes WebMD.
The thyroid gland produces hormones which act in all areas of the body. These hormones aid in regulating body temperature, growth and metabolism. In the early stages of life, a baby's thyroid gland produces hormones that help in brain development, states WebMD.
A common condition that affects the thyroid is goiter. This is a term that describes swelling of the thyroid. In most cases, this condition is caused by iodine deficiency. It may sometimes occur as a result of a condition known as Hashimoto's thyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid secretes too much hormones. This condition is often caused by an underlying problem, such as Grave's disease or an overactive thyroid nodule. Hypothyroidism refers to a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones.
Thyroid nodules are abnormal growths that develop in the thyroid. Individuals with thyroid nodules are likely to observe a swelling of the neck or development of a lump. The nodules are not cancerous and cause no serious threat to health.