Thyroid Surgery Q & A

What is the Purpose of the Thyroid Gland?

The thyroid gland produces hormones that affect all of the physiological processes within the body. These hormones regulate the metabolism, help the body to utilize glucose in the blood stream, as well as maintain energy levels. Individuals who have an imbalance in thyroid production can experience unexplained weight loss or gain and suffer from chronic fatigue to the point where their quality of life is affected. Without the thyroid gland, the body would not be able to function. If the thyroid is damaged or an illness affects it, the rest of the body will suffer in some fashion.

What are the Symptoms of a Thyroid Imbalance?

Thyroid imbalances can result in extreme symptoms. If thyroid hormone levels are low, weight gain, extreme fatigue, hair loss, depression, poor skin tone, and lack of energy are all common symptoms. When thyroid hormone levels are higher than normal, a person may lose weight quickly, have an insatiable appetite, have excessive amounts of energy, and seem anxious or nervous. Hormone imbalances can be treated in several ways. Oral medications that contain synthetic thyroid hormones are commonly tried first to in an effort to bring the problem under control. Radiation therapy is another treatment that may be utilized. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to surgically remove the thyroid and then place the person on a maintenance dose of synthetic hormones.

How are Thyroid Conditions Treated?

Thyroid conditions are treated based on the cause. Hormone imbalances can be caused by hormone imbalances in other areas of the body. Restoring the balance of hormones may involve the use of oral medications that contain a synthetic version of the thyroid hormone the body needs to function. Fine needle aspiration and thyroid lobectomy procedures are often used to correct structural problems that affect the thyroid gland. These procedures are minimally invasive and can produce positive results. Discussing treatment options with the doctor will help a patient play an active role in their treatment program.

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