Thyroid Diseases

Enlarged Thyroid (Goiter)

Thyroid Disease Treatment | Goiter Treatment | Thyroid Cancer Treatment | Gaithersburg MD | FrederickA goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland that usually indicates another thyroid condition and can cause swallowing or breathing difficulties. Symptoms of a goiter can include swelling of the neck, coughing and tightness in the throat. Goiters are most common in women and older adults and can be caused by a number of different factors.

A goiter does not necessarily indicate a certain level of thyroid hormones, but can instead indicate an iodine deficiency, thyroid nodule or another condition such as:

  • Graves' disease
  • Hashimoto's disease
  • Multinodular goiter
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Pregnancy
  • Inflammation

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism, also known as an overactive thyroid gland, involves an excess of hormone production that can lead to weight loss, irregular heartbeat and irritability. The thyroid gland is located in the lower neck and wraps around the windpipe. Its hormones, primarily thyroxine and triiodothyronine, stimulate the metabolism of cells, control body temperature and regulate protein production.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a common condition that involves an underactive thyroid not producing enough hormones. This condition can lead to obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease. The thyroid is the gland in the front of the neck that controls energy use and metabolic functions. Women over the age of age of 50 are at the highest risk for developing hypothyroidism.

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid Disease Treatment | Goiter Treatment | Thyroid Cancer Treatment | Gaithersburg MD | FrederickThe thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the throat that controls the body's heart rate, temperatures and metabolism. Cancer of this gland can interrupt these vital functions and lead to other complications as well. Fortunately, thyroid cancer can usually be successfully treated through minimally invasive methods.

Thyroid Disease and Pregnancy

Thyroid disease 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. During pregnancy, thyroid hormones are essential not only to the mother’s health, but to the developing baby’s brain and nervous system, too.

Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are diagnosed during pregnancy by assessing symptoms and taking a blood test. Mild hyperthyroidism must be closely monitored, but not necessarily treated. Moderate to severe cases of hyperthyroidism are treated with medication to slow the production of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism during pregnancy is treated with medication as well to restore levels of thyroid hormone.

Thyroid Nodule

Thyroid nodules are abnormal growths on the thyroid gland that appear as lumps in the throat. The cause of a thyroid nodule is not known, but they occur most often in older adults, and are usually not cancerous. However, thyroid nodules require medical attention to help prevent any complications.

There are several different types of nodules that can form in the thyroid gland. While many do not cause any symptoms, others can affect hormone production and may lead to weight loss, nervousness or a rapid heartbeat. Some of the different types of nodules include:

  • Colloid nodule
  • Follicular adenoma
  • Thyroid cyst
  • Inflammatory nodule
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Multinodular goiter

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