5 Interesting Facts About the Thyroid

fun facts about the thyroid gland for kids

Have you ever heard of the thyroid? This brownish-red gland is in your neck, and it’s about the same size as two nickels put together. Even though it’s small, it’s a super important gland. It’s a major part of your endocrine system. Keep reading to learn fun facts about your thyroid!

Fun facts about the thyroid

Your thyroid gland is especially important as a kid because it helps you grow and develop.

But even for adults, the thyroid gland is a big deal, too! When your thyroid can do its job, it helps your body turn food into energy for your body.

1. The thyroid is shaped like a bowtie

fun fact: thyroid is shaped like a neck bowtie

Can you spot the similarity? The thyroid gland has a bowtie-like shape.

It’s also located in a similar place at the front of the neck, just under your voice box. Pretty cool, right?

Some people think the thyroid gland looks like butterfly wings. To others, the thyroid gland resembles the letter “H”.

What does the thyroid gland look like to you?

2. It’s like a mini factory

The thyroid gland is like a special factory that makes chemicals called hormones.

Thyroid hormones act like messengers that tell your body how to use energy from food. They help your body burn energy so you can grow big and strong.

Here are some more fun facts about thyroid hormones:

  • They make your heartbeat speed up.
  • They make you breathe faster and take in more oxygen
  • They activate bone growth in kids.

3. It needs a special ingredient called iodine

seaweed is rich in iodine fact

Iodine is a mineral found in seaweed. It’s also in other foods like fish, milk, and eggs.

When you eat foods that contain iodine, your body absorbs the iodine and sends it to your thyroid gland.

Then, your thyroid gland uses iodine to make thyroid hormones.

4. It affects how you feel

The hormones from your thyroid gland can affect your emotions and energy level.

These thyroid facts are not so fun:

  • You could feel jittery and anxious if your thyroid gland makes too much hormone.
  • You could feel sad and sluggish if your thyroid gland does not make enough hormones.

5. You can live without your thyroid

It’s true: life can go on without a thyroid.

Sometimes, the thyroid gland can get sick and stop working properly.

  • If it doesn’t make enough hormones, you might feel tired and have trouble growing. Your skin might feel dry, cold, and rough.
  • If the thyroid makes too many hormones, you might feel hyper and have trouble falling asleep.

But try not to worry. If there’s a problem with the thyroid, doctors can fix it with medicine or surgery. So, it’s important to listen to your body and see your doctor if you feel sick.

Fun thyroid gland facts with pictures

fun facts about thyroid gland anatomy for kids
The thyroid is located in front of the neck.
Doctor holding 3D thyroid voice box anatomy model
Here’s a doctor holding an anatomy model of a thyroid and voice box.
thyroid trachea lungs labeled anatomy diagram for kids
This human anatomy diagram shows where the thyroid is located around the trachea.
goiter enlarged thyroid gland in neck
Sometimes, the thyroid swells up and grows so big that you can see the bump in the neck. This is called a goiter.

More fun facts about the thyroid and other endocrine organs

Updated on November 27, 2023 by Betty Choi, MD

Updated on November 27, 2023 by Betty Choi, MD