* What is the Thyroid Gland? [Back to the top]
This is a gland in the lower front part of the neck that regulates the function of the entire body. Enlargement of the whole gland is called a “goiter”. Goiter can include cases of single or multiple enlarged nodules, inflammation of the thyroid, and hyperactive nodules. These conditions can sometimes be controlled with medicine. Occasionally the enlargement can cause a choking sensation. Surgery is used to control this problem in selected cases. If you have any questions about today's topic, please contact your family physician or call our office for further information.
* Do you feel tired all the time? [Back to the top]
Need more energy? Did you know that at least 1% or 1 out of a hundred people chosen at random will have low thyroid hormone? This results in cold intolerance, feeling tired and bloated, and general weight gain. Thyroid hormone is secreted by a gland in the lower part of the neck. Sometimes the production of the gland slows down due to age or illness. Measurement of thyroid hormone and the thyroid stimulating hormone can determine in most cases by using a small blood sample. Watch for more information on thyroid conditions in upcoming weeks.
* What is a thyroid nodule? [Back to the top]
A nodule can occur as part of a general process, multiple nodules or as a specific growth or inflammation. Nodules can cause choking or pain. Cancers can occur as nodules. Nodules are evaluated with ultrasound which is painless. Ultrasound can determine the size and pattern of the nodule(s). A single nodule more than one fourth of an inch in size should generally be biopsied: this is done by injecting a local anesthetic into the skin of the neck and passing a tiny needle into the nodule by ultrasound to collect cells for evaluation and to rule out cancer. If you have any questions about today's topic, please call our office for further information.
* What is inflammation of the thyroid? [Back to the top]
Many types of thyroid problems, tiredness, swollen and tender thyroid, occur as part of a process of thyroid inflammation. Blood tests combined with ultrasound can usually determine if there is inflammation of the thyroid. Thyroid function can change during periods of inflammation and this can get better with medication. Nodules of the thyroid can be associated with inflammation: biopsy of these nodules with a tiny needle can evaluate the nodule type as well as determining the type of inflammation. If you have any questions about today's topic, please contact your family physician or call our office for further information.
* What is a hyperactive nodule of the thyroid? [Back to the top]
People who have an overactive thyroid can have a variety of complaints: they can feel nervous and jittery, or alternatively, tired and intolerant of any extreme hot or cold. This can be due to thyroid conditions including nodules that produce thyroid hormone, as well as inflammation or swelling of the entire gland. In addition to blood tests and ultrasound, the thyroid can be scanned to reveal which parts are overactive. If a nodule is overactive, this nodule can be surgically removed and resolve the symptoms. If you have any questions about today's topic, please call our office for further information.
* What is thyroid cancer? [Back to the top]
Nodules in the thyroid have about a 20% chance of being cancer. Thyroid cancer is very treatable and most thyroid cancer patients will live a normal life expectancy. Nodules can be evaluated by ultrasound and biopsied with a fine needle as previously discussed. Surgery is an outpatient procedure to remove an involved area. In some cases radioactive iodine is given as a pill after surgery to destroy remaining cancer. Most nodules occur in women and younger women tend to have excellent results with treatment. If you have any questions about today's topic, please contact your family physician or call our office for further information.