Thyroid Disorders

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What are thyroid disorders?

Thyroid disorders are conditions that affect the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck. The thyroid has important roles to regulate numerous metabolic processes throughout the body. Different types of thyroid disorders affect either its structure or function.

The thyroid gland is located below the Adam's apple wrapped around the trachea (windpipe). A thin area of tissue in the gland's middle, known as the isthmus, joins the two thyroid lobes on each side. The thyroid uses iodine to produce vital hormones. Thyroxine, also known as T4, is the primary hormone produced by the gland. After delivery via the bloodstream to the body's tissues, a small portion of the T4 released from the gland is converted to triiodothyronine (T3), which is the most active hormone.

The function of the thyroid gland is regulated by a feedback mechanism involving the brain. When thyroid hormone levels are low, the hypothalamus in the brain produces a hormone known as thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) that causes the pituitary gland (located at the base of the brain) to release thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to release more T4.

Since the thyroid gland is controlled by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, disorders of these tissues can also affect thyroid function and cause thyroid problems.

Picture of the thyroid gland
Picture of the thyroid gland

What are the specific kinds of thyroid disorders?

There are specific kinds of thyroid disorders that includes:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Goiter
  • Thyroid nodules
  • Thyroid cancer
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/19/2013

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Thyroid Disorders - Experience Question: Please describe the type of thyroid disorder you have, and your experience with the disorder.
Thyroid Disorders - Treatment Question: What type of thyroid disorder do you have, and what treatments have you received?
Thyroid Disorders - Surgery Question: What type of thyroid disorder did/do you have, and please describe your experience with surgery for the disorder.
Thyroid Disorders - Thyroid Cancer Question: Please describe your experience with thyroid cancer.
Thyroid Disorders - Hypothyroidism Question: Please describe your experience with hypothyroidism.
Thyroid Disorders - Hyperthyroidism Question: Please describe your experience with hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid Disorders - Goiter Question: Please describe your experience with thyroid goiter.
Thyroid Disorders - Nodules Question: Please describe your experience with thyroid nodules.
Thyroid Disorders - Symptoms and Signs Question: What type of thyroid disorder do you have, and what were your symptoms and signs?
thyroid problem picture

Thyroid Disease

Thyroid Disease Symptoms and Signs

Thyroid disease is a common problem that can cause symptoms because of over- or under-function of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is an essential organ for producing thyroid hormones, which maintain are body metabolism. The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck below the Adam's apple. Thyroid disease can also sometimes lead to enlargement of the thyroid gland in the neck, which can cause symptoms that are directly related to the increase in size of the organ (such as difficulty swallowing and discomfort in front of the neck).


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