Thyroid Disorders

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Robert Ferry Jr., MD

    Robert Ferry Jr., MD

    Robert Ferry Jr., MD, is a U.S. board-certified Pediatric Endocrinologist. After taking his baccalaureate degree from Yale College, receiving his doctoral degree and residency training in pediatrics at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), he completed fellowship training in pediatric endocrinology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

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Quick GuideThyroid Anatomy, Symptoms, and Disorders

Thyroid Anatomy, Symptoms, and Disorders

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism results from the thyroid gland producing an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone. It can develop from problems within the thyroid gland, pituitary gland, or hypothalamus. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include:

Some common causes of hypothyroidism include:

  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis (an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation of the thyroid gland)
  • Thyroid hormone resistance
  • Other types of thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid), such as acute thyroiditis and postpartum thyroiditis

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism describes excessive production of thyroid hormone, a less common condition than hypothyroidism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism usually relate to increased metabolism. In mild cases, there may not be apparent symptoms. Symptoms and signs of hyperthyroidism can include:

  • Tremor
  • Nervousness
  • Fast heart rate
  • Fatigue
  • Intolerance for heat
  • Increase in bowel movements
  • Increased sweating
  • Concentration problems
  • Unintentional weight loss

Some of the most common causes of hyperthyroidism are:

  • Graves' disease
  • Toxic multinodular goiter
  • Thyroid nodules that overexpress thyroid hormone (known as "hot" nodules)
  • Excessive iodine consumption
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/5/2015
Next: Goiter

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