Thyroid nodules are the most common endocrine problem in the United States. The term thyroid nodule refers to any abnormal growth that forms a lump in the thyroid gland. The vast majority of thyroid nodules are benign. Read more: Thyroid Nodules Article
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Your Thyroid: Common Thyroid Problems and Diseases Explained
Learn about thyroid problems such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid cancer, and more. Discover symptoms and treatments...
Hyperthyroidism Symptoms and Treatment
What is hyperthyroidism? Hyperthyroidism occurs when an overactive thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid...
Thyroid Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Your unexplained change in weight could indicate a thyroid condition. Take the Thyroid Quiz to learn about common symptoms and...
Picture of Thyroid
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck just below the Adams apple. See a picture of the Thyroid...
Related Disease Conditions
Thyroid Disorders Symptoms and Signs
Thyroid diseases and disorders are caused because the body either makes too much or too little thyroid hormones, which are necessary for vital functions of the body. Thyroid disease and disorder symptoms and signs depend on the type of the thyroid problem. Examples include heat or cold intolerance, sweating, weight loss or gain, palpitations, fatigue, dry skin, constipation, brittle hair, joint aches and pains, heart palpitations, edema, feeling bloated, puffiness in the face, reduced menstrual flow, changes in the frequency of bowel movements and habits, high cholesterol, hoarseness, brittle hair, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, a visible lump or swelling in the neck, tremors, memory problems, depression, nervousness, agitation, irritability, or poor concentration. Thyroid problems are more common in women.
There are several types of thyroid disorders including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goiters, thyroid nodules, and thyroid cancer. Symptoms vary by condition. Diagnosis is made with blood tests, scans, ultrasound, or biopsy. Treatments depend on the disorder and can include medication or surgery.
Cysts are sac-like structures that may be filled with gas, liquid, or solid materials. Cysts may produce symptoms and signs depending on their location. Treatment of a cyst depends upon what caused the cyst in the first place.
Hypothyroidism is any state in which thyroid hormone production is below normal. Normally, the rate of thyroid hormone production is controlled by the brain by the pituitary gland. Hypothyroidism is a very common condition and the symptoms of hypothyroidism are often subtle, but may include, constipation, memory loss, hair loss, and depression. There are a variety of causes of hypothyroidism, and treatment depends on the cause.
Hyperthyroidism is an excess of thyroid hormone due to an overactive thyroid gland. Symptoms can include increased heart rate, weight loss, heart palpitations, frequent bowel movements, depression, fatigue, fine or brittle hair, sleep problems, thinning skin, and irregular vaginal bleeding. Graves' disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Many other health problems or taking excess thyroid hormone medication can cause an overactive thyroid gland. Treatment for the condition is with medication, radioactive iodine, thyroid surgery (rarely), or reducing the dose of thyroid hormone. No diet has been shown to treat hyperthyroidism or its symptoms and signs.
Hashimoto's thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disorder causing inflammation of the thyroid gland. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is a type of hypothyroidism, and is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the US. Symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis may include dry skin, fatigue, weight gain, feeling cold, excessive sleepiness, dry skin, dry coarse hair, difficulty swallowing, a lump in the front of the throat, muscle cramps, mood changes, vague aches and pains, problems concentrating, leg swelling, constipation, and depression. There is no cure for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Diet changes, natural supplements, vitamins, or other natural products will not treat Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Treatment for the autoimmune disorder is with thyroid hormone replacement therapy, which will be necessary for the rest of the person’s life.
There are four major types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancer. Tumors on the thyroid are referred to as thyroid nodules. Symptoms of thyroid cancer include swollen lymph nodes, pain in the throat, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, and a lump near the Adam's apple. Treatment usually involves chemotherapy, surgery, radioactive iodine, hormone treatment or external radiation and depends upon the type of thyroid cancer, the patient's age, the tumor size, and whether the cancer has metastasized.
Thyroiditis is the inflammation of the thyroid gland. The inflamed thyroid gland can release an excess of thyroid hormones into the blood stream, resulting in a temporary hyperthyroid state. Some forms of thyroiditis can be diagnosed based on tenderness and enlargement of the thyroid gland. A thyroid scan sometimes is used in making the diagnosis. Thyroiditis can also be diagnosed with a biopsy of the thyroid gland.
What Are the Warning Signs of Thyroid Cancer?
Thyroid cancer arises from the cells of the thyroid gland. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck, just below Adam's apple. Warning signs of thyroid cancer include a lump in the neck, trouble swallowing, trouble breathing, voice changes, cough, weight loss, and palpitations.
What Happens to Your Body When You Have Thyroid Cancer?
Thyroid cancer arises from the cells of the thyroid gland. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck, just below Adam's apple. Common symptoms and signs of thyroid cancer may include a lump in the neck, trouble swallowing, trouble breathing, voice changes, cough, weight loss, and palpitations.
What Are the Complications of Thyroid Problems?
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the anterior (front) aspect of the neck. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism, body temperature, heartbeat and the digestive system. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is unable to produce sufficient levels of thyroid hormones. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces excess levels of thyroid hormones. Thyroid problems can begin at any age and women are more affected than men. The clinical presentation and complications of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are different.
What Does it Mean When Your TSH is Low?
Low TSH levels indicate a condition with your pituitary or thyroid glands. Learn what happens when TSH is low, how it is diagnosed, and how doctors treat it.
Local ResourcesFind a local Endocrinologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- levothyroxine - oral, Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid
- levothyroxine sodium (Synthroid, Levoxyl)
- Side Effects of Synthroid (levothyroxine)
- liothyronine sodium, Cytomel, Triostat
- Side Effects of Tapazole (methimazole)
- Side Effects of Propylthiouracil (PTU)
- Side Effects of Cytomel (liothyronine sodium)
- Cometriq (cabozantinib)
Prevention & Wellness
- Look for Early Signs of Thyroid Cancer, Experts Urge
- Thyroid Cancer Cases in U.S. Level Off, Perhaps Reflecting Diagnostic Changes
- Study Questions Close Monitoring of Thyroid Growths
- Too Many Unnecessary Thyroid Biopsies Performed, Experts Say
- Childhood Abuse Linked to Later Thyroid Problems for Women
- Thyroid Treatment Guidelines for Pregnant Women Revised
- Lower-Dose Radioiodine Effective Against Thyroid Cancer
- Thyroid Condition Linked to Heart Problems: Study
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