Head and Neck Cancer Surgeon

Thyroid Problems

The butterfly shaped organ located in the middle of your neck beneath the Adam’s apple (thyroid cartilage).

It has 2 lobes wrapped around the thyroid cartilage (windpipe) which are joined together in the middle by the isthmus.

This endocrine gland uses iodine in producing chemicals Thyroxine, triiodothyronine called thyroid hormones, which are important in regulating metabolism, growth and development. These hormones are especially important in pregnancy and in chidhood because it affects brain development.

Thyroid problems may be classified into 2.

  1. Those that affect thyroid hormone production

  2. Problems that affect thyroid size

Hyperthyroidism is a disorder where the thyroid gland produces more thyroid hormones than usual. The most usual cause is Grave’s disease, an auto-immune disorder where the body produces the antibody thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins (TSI) which misdirect the thyroid to make too much thyroid hormones T3 and T4.

Symptoms are:

-palpitations

– rapid heart rate

– increased sweating or always feeling warm

– easy fatigability

-shortness of breath

-weight loss

-menstrual complaints

– diarrhea

Hypothyroidism, on the other hand, is a disorder where the thyroid gland produces less thyroid hormones than the normal values. The usual causes are

  1. Hashimotos thyroiditis, another auto immune disorder where the body produces antibodies which attack the thyroid gland, resulting in less production of thyroid hormones

  2. Previous treatment of hyperthyroidism, such are radio-active iodine

  3. Changes in the thyroid gland structure

The following are symptoms of hyperthyroidism:

  1. Lack of motivation or

always feeling tired

  1. Feeling cold

  2. Depressed feelings

  3. Hair loss

  4. Weight gain

  5. Bowel problems

  6. Hoarseness

  7. Heart problems

Goiter is the term used to describe any enlargement of the thyroid gland. It may be caused by

  • Infection

  • Inflammation

  • Iodine de