thyroid gland

GC: n

S: WHO – (last access: 12 July 2017); (last access: 12 July 2017).

N: 1. – thyroid (adj): Origin: Anc Greek θυρεός/thireos (=shield) + είδος/idos (=form). The shield name “θυρεός” derived from θύρα/thyra (=door) because of its oblong shape resembling to door. The aspis and the thureos were the shields principally in use by ancient Greeks; the former for light, the latter for heavy armed troops.
Coined: Galen first used the name shield-shaped cartilage in order to describe the “Adam’s apple” in the throat. In 1656 by Thomas Wharton (also famous for his description of the submandibular duct) who used the term “thyroid gland” because of shield-shaped cartilage upon the gland rests. ( ‘Adenographia’ the ‘glandulae thyroideae’ or thyroid in 1656). Previosly it was known by Celsus the medical condition of bronchocoele (a herniation of the bronchus) in 15 AD and medical authorities also used this term even into the 19th century despite Wharton earlier descriptions.
– gland (n): 1690s, from French glande (Old French glandre “a gland,” 13c.), from Latin glandula “gland of the throat, tonsil,” diminutive of glans (genitive glandis) “acorn, nut; acorn-shaped ball,” from PIE root *gwele- (2) “acorn” (source also of Greek balanos, Armenian kalin, Old Church Slavonic zelodi “acorn;” Lithuanian gile “oak”). Earlier English form was glandula (c. 1400); Middle English also had glandele “inflamed gland” (c. 1400). Extended from tonsils to glands generally.
2. A gland that makes and stores hormones that help regulate the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and the rate at which food is converted into energy. Thyroid hormones are essential for the function of every cell in the body. They help regulate growth and the rate of chemical reactions (metabolism) in the body. Thyroid hormones also help children grow and develop.
3. The thyroid gland is located in the lower part of the neck, below the Adam’s apple, wrapped around the trachea (windpipe). It has the shape of a butterfly: two wings (lobes) attached to one another by a middle part called the isthmus.
4. The thyroid uses iodine, a mineral found in some foods and in iodized salt, to make its hormones. The two most important thyroid hormones are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which is produced by the pituitary gland, acts to stimulate hormone production by the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland also makes the hormone calcitonin, which is involved in calcium metabolism and stimulating bone cells to add calcium to bone.

S: 1. (last access: 12 July 2017); OED – (last access: 12 July 2017). 2 to 4. (last access: 12 July 2017).


CR: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Plummer’s disease.