Illustration: Tré Carden
Author: Giddy Staff

It may be small, but it has a variety of functions. Sitting just below the Adam's apple and not really thought of until something goes wrong, the thyroid gland produces the hormones that control metabolism and other bodily processes. The American Thyroid Association says the hormone produced by the thyroid gland influences every cell, tissue and organ in the body.

January is Thyroid Awareness Month, and Giddy is determined to raise everyone's awareness of this vital gland. About 20 million people have some manner of thyroid disorder, but up to 60 percent of them are unaware of it. And women are five to eight times more likely to develop thyroid disease, whether that is hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid cancer or Grave's disease.

Join us this month as we publish a new story every Monday. We'll have enlightening Q&As with experts, an overview of thyroid disease, a look at why more women than men experience thyroid issues, and an examination of how the thyroid affects men's sexual health.

Too much or too little production from this gland can lead to health and sexual issues.
Your thyroid can affect everything from your metabolism to sexual health and fertility.
Problems with this important gland can affect everything from metabolism to fertility.
Annually, 44,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Who's at risk and why?
This tiny gland can have an impact on everything from erections to sperm viability.