Thyroid disorders are a group of conditions that impact the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is a small gland located in the neck. This tiny gland has a major impact on numerous metabolic processes, so when it has problems there can be severe consequences for the patient.
Thyroid disorders include hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goiter, and thyroid nodules.
In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. This is the most common type of thyroid disorder. Patients suffering from hypothyroidism may have chronic exhaustion, depression, weight gain, difficulty with concentration, dry skin, chronic constipation, and may always feel cold.
Hyperthyroidism is not as common as hypothyroidism, but it still impacts many people today. It occurs when the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone. This excess production results in symptoms such as accelerated heart rate, nervousness, tremors, inability to tolerate heat, excessive sweating, weight loss, and inability to sleep.
Treatment for thyroid disorders is an individual thing based on the specific thyroid disorder and the individual patient. Medications are often an excellent solution to thyroid disorders. In the case of hypothyroidism, the patient can take medication that will add thyroid hormone to the body. Hyperthyroidism patients can take medication designed to slow production of thyroid hormone, or even to stop the thyroid gland from releasing its stores of thyroid hormone. If specific symptoms are not resolved with thyroid medication, other medications can address those symptoms individually if necessary. For example, if a person with hyperthyroidism still has a racing heart even after their thyroid production is controlled via medication, they may need a medication to address the increased heart rate as well. While rare, there may also be cases where a surgical procedure is needed to address thyroid issues. Ultimately, thyroid treatment is highly personalized based on the patient and their needs.
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