The Difference Between the Thyroid & Thymus Glands


The thyroid and thymus glands are two separate and distinct glands in different locations with different functions.

Thyroid gland on woman.
Thyroid gland on woman. (Image: BakiBG/iStock/Getty Images)

Thyroid Gland Location

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck, below the larynx (voice box).

Thyroid. (Image: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images)

Thyroid Gland Function

The thyroid gland secretes hormones that help control your body's metabolism and calcium balance. Low thyroid function can lead to many problems, including weight gain, hair loss, and fatigue.

Low thyroid can lead to weight gain.
Low thyroid can lead to weight gain. (Image: fotyma/iStock/Getty Images)

Thymus Gland Location

The thymus gland is located in your upper chest under the sternum (breastbone).

Illustration of the thymus.
Illustration of the thymus. (Image: decade3d/iStock/Getty Images)

Thymus Gland Function

The thymus gland is part of your immune system. It secretes hormones that enable T-Cells (disease-fighting cells) to function against disease-causing organisms. The thymus is most active in children and becomes less active with age.

Children running.
Children running. (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)


According to The Women's Guide to Thyroid Health, low thyroid function can cause a reduction in the production of hormones by the thymus gland.

Scanning the thyroid.
Scanning the thyroid. (Image: Boris Kaulin/iStock/Getty Images)

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