What is Thyroid Disease? How does Thyroid Disease Affect Me?
Thyroid disease is a common condition that occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce the proper amount of hormones needed by the body. Thyroid hormones help regulate the body’s heart rate, temperature and metabolism. A malfunctioning gland may be producing too much or too little of these hormones for a number of different reasons, such as an autoimmune disease, exposure to radiation, reaction to medication or pregnancy.
Hyperthyroidism is an overproduction of thyroid hormones, while hypothyroidism is an underproduction. Although these are different conditions, both can lead to enlargement of the thyroid gland, heart problems and other complications.
How is Thyroid Disease Treated?
Treatment for thyroid conditions usually includes medication to increase or decrease hormone production, or surgery to remove part or all of the thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland is situated in the lower, central part of the neck, and produces thyroid hormone, which regulates metabolism. Thyroid nodules are common, and most often benign, but in some cases may be malignant. Evaluation of thyroid nodules begins with a complete examination of the head and neck region, and may include blood tests and/or radiologic imaging such as a thyroid sonogram. If indicated, our doctors will perform a fine needle biopsy in the office, a minimally invasive technique that can rapidly differentiate malignant thyroid tumors from benign nodules. If necessary, our surgeons are trained in the latest techniques for safe removal of thyroid lesions.