There are a number of conditions that can affect the health and function of your thyroid gland. At Seacrest Medical Group in Boynton Beach, Florida, Jean Etienne, MD, and his team provide accurate diagnoses and effective treatment for common thyroid diseases. To speak with the team about your thyroid condition, call the office or book an appointment online today.
The thyroid is a small gland that sits at the base of your neck. It’s responsible for producing hormones that regulate your body’s metabolism. Thyroid hormones affect how quickly you burn calories and how fast your heart beats.
There are several common conditions that can impair the health and function of your thyroid gland.
Hypothyroidism refers to an underactive thyroid gland. Patients with hypothyroidism don’t produce enough thyroid hormones to meet their body’s needs. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that prevents the thyroid from functioning properly.
Hypothyroidism results in such symptoms as:
Lack of thyroid hormones causes the body’s processes to slow down. Symptoms of hypothyroidism typically occur gradually and worsen over time.
Hyperthyroidism is the opposite of hypothyroidism. Patients with hyperthyroidism produce too many thyroid hormones. These excess hormones speed up the body’s processes, resulting in symptoms like:
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease, a condition that causes the immune system to incorrectly attack the thyroid gland. Although Graves’ disease can affect anyone, it’s most common in women in their 20s and 30s.
Thyroid nodules refer to abnormal growths that develop on or inside the thyroid gland. Most thyroid nodules are benign (noncancerous) and are too small to cause symptoms. As they grow larger, however, thyroid nodules can cause swelling in the neck and make it difficult to breathe or swallow normally.
Some thyroid nodules increase levels of thyroid hormones in the body, leading to symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
There are a number of ways to successfully treat thyroid diseases. The first step is an accurate diagnosis. Your diagnosis begins with a physical exam and may include a number of other evaluations to confirm your condition, including blood tests and imaging tests.
Treatment for your condition may involve medication, radioactive iodine therapy, or surgery.
To find out which treatment is right for your thyroid disease, book an appointment at Seacrest Medical Group by phone or online today.