Thyroid Disorders

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found in the front of your throat just below your larynx, or voice box. The thyroid uses iodine to produce two important hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones affect virtually all of your body’s cells and organs, and control numerous functions including:

  • Metabolism, which determines how fast your body burns calories and gains or loses weight
  • Heart rate
  • Body temperature
  • Digestive system works
  • Energy level

In addition to making hormones, your thyroid gland works with your pituitary gland to produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH regulates how much T3 and T4 are released into your body. When the amount of thyroid hormone is not appropriate for your needs, one of two conditions may result:

  • Hyperthyroidism develops when your thyroid hormone levels are too high (hyper). This results in low TSH. You may lose weight quickly or have a rapid heartbeat or other symptoms.
  • Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid hormone levels are too low (hypo) and does not send out enough hormone to keep your body functioning as well as it should be. You may feel tired, weak, cold or have other symptoms.

Thyroid Conditions We Treat

Mercy endocrinologists are physicians who specialize in diagnosing and treating hormonal disorders. Our doctors diagnose and treat hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism as well as other thyroid disorders including:

  • Thyroid nodules: These lumps in the thyroid are usually not harmful and do not require treatment unless they become cancerous or grow large enough to press on surrounding areas or interfere with swallowing.
  • Goiter: Another term for an enlarged thyroid gland, goiter may have various causes.
  • Thyroiditis: This is inflammation of the thyroid due to infection or other causes.
  • Thyroid cancer: Cancer that develops in the thyroid gland.

Expert Care for Thyroid Disorders

Most thyroid disorders are treatable with medication or other therapies. Your Mercy primary care doctor can determine if your thyroid gland is working properly and, if necessary, refer you to one of our expert endocrinologists for specialized care.

 

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