Your thyroid gland is the butterfly-shaped gland found at the base of your front neck. It sits below your Adam’s apple, just along the front of the windpipe.
The thyroid gland produces hormones that influence the body’s metabolism, body temperature, and growth and development. During infancy and childhood, thyroid hormones play a crucial role in brain development.
Conditions affecting the thyroid
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are just some of the conditions affecting the thyroid.
Hypothyroidism vs Hyperthyroidism
In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones to function well. As a result, the metabolism slows down, causing weight gain.
People with hypothyroidism may also experience sensitivity to cold, fatigue, dry skin, and slow heart rate. About 4.6 percent of the U.S. population has this condition.
The most common form of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It’s an autoimmune disorder that occurs more frequently in women than in men. In this condition, the body attacks its own immune system. This attack causes the thyroid gland to stop producing hormones.
With hyperthyroidism, the gland produces too many thyroid hormones. This results in a fast heart rate, increased appetite, anxiety, sensitivity to heat, and sudden weight loss.
Hyperthyroidism may occur as a result of thyroiditis, a thyroid nodule that causes overproduction of T4 hormone, and autoimmune disorders such as Grave’s disease.
Treating hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
There is no cure for hypothyroidism but there are medications that can improve the body’s thyroid function, restore hormone levels, and improve your overall quality of life.
Drug therapy, radioactive iodine, and surgery(thyroidectomy) are some of the treatment options for hyperthyroidism.
Thyroidectomy for hyperthyroidism may involve partial or total removal of the thyroid gland.
Although thyroidectomy is not the most commonly used treatment method for hyperthyroidism, there are situations that call for it. An example is when a person is allergic to antithyroid medications or resistant to radioactive iodine.
Thyroidectomy may also be recommended if the hyperthyroidism is brought about by a toxic nodule or if the thyroid gland is very large and has nodules that may become malignant or cancerous.
Types of thyroidectomy
Thyroidectomy may be partial or total.
For some types of hyperthyroidism such as solitary toxic adenoma, the surgery involves partial removal of the thyroid gland with the adenoma. For other cases of hyperthyroidism, including Grave’s disease, a nearly total thyroidectomy is required.
Our surgeons at Premier Surgical Associates in Knoxville and Cleveland, TN, are experienced in performing surgically treating thyroid disease. To learn more thyroid and endocrine surgery options, visit https://www.premiersurgical.com/premier-surgical-services/endocrine-thyroid-surgery/