Types of Thyroid Diseases
Find out more about the thyroid gland and the different types of thyroid diseases. The thyroid gland is quite small, but it is also very important. It resembles the shape of a butterfly, and it weighs less than 30 grams. However, the thyroid gland is responsible for producing the hormones that control the body’s metabolism.
If the thyroid gland begins to malfunction, it can be attributed to one of a different number of thyroid diseases. These diseases are rarely fatal, but they may often negatively affect a person’s quality of life. This article provides an overview of the different types of thyroid diseases.
The Different Types of Thyroid Diseases
If the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, then it is said to be underactive. This condition is commonly referred to as hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can be attributed to a number of different causes, including:
- Postpartum thyroiditis (This condition is an inflammation of the thyroid gland that commonly occurs after a pregnancy.)
- Acute thyroiditis
- Silent thyroiditis
- Thyroid hormone resistance
- Specific medications that affect thyroid function
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (This is actually an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the tissue of the thyroid gland. As a result, the thyroid tissue dies, which renders it unable to perform its job functions.)
If a person’s thyroid gland produces an excess of hormones, then this condition is referred to as hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can also be caused by a number of different diseases, including:
- Graves’ disease (This is another autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system produces weird antibodies. The overabundance of these antibodies causes the thyroid gland to believe the human body is sick, which causes it to produce an excess of hormones.)
- Toxic multinodular goitre
- Toxic nodule (“hot” nodule)
- Excessive intake of iodine
- Medications (ingesting thyroid hormone)
Thyroid diseases can also be caused by cancer. Thyroid cancer is very slow growing, so it can be a long time before the symptoms become apparent. However, the good news is that this type of cancer is rarely fatal, and it is fairly easy to treat.
Getting Care For Thyroid Diseases
These disorders are a hassle, aggravating, and quite simply, a pain in the butt (or neck!). This is why it is important for them to be diagnosed and treated early. Treatments can range from daily medications to radioactive iodine therapy. A patient’s doctor will discuss with them what the best course of treatment is. Within a short amount of time, a patient is guaranteed to be feeling significantly better.
If you have questions or concerns about thyroid diseases see your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a thyroid surgeon.