Thyroid Disorders We Treat
The thyroid is a gland located in the front of your neck. It’s shaped like a butterfly, with “wings” that wrap around your windpipe (trachea). The thyroid gland’s job is to release hormones that regulate many important body functions.
The thyroid doctors at Henry Ford Health System are specially trained to diagnose and treat all types of thyroid disorders. We take time to answer your questions and discuss all available treatment options.
How the thyroid works
When it’s functioning properly, the thyroid gland produces triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), hormones that control your metabolism. Those hormones affect how quickly your body burns calories as well as other functions, like how fast your heart beats.
The pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain, releases thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). This controls the amount of T3 and T4 the thyroid produces.
When thyroid hormone levels are low, the pituitary gland signals the thyroid to produce more by releasing more TSH. When levels are high, the pituitary gland tells the thyroid to slow down production by releasing less TSH.
Thyroid disease can occur when the gland produces too much or too little T3 and T4. This upsets your body’s hormonal balance. It affects your metabolism, causing weight gain or loss and other symptoms.
Thyroid disease can also result from structural issues, such as a thyroid goiter, nodule or tumor.
Types of thyroid disorders
There are several conditions that result from a thyroid gland disorder. Thyroid disorders we treat include:
- Hyperthyroidism is also known as overactive thyroid because the gland produces an excess of hormones.
- Graves’ disease is a type of hyperthyroidism that can cause eye problems.
- Thyroid cancer occurs when a tumor of cancerous cells grows in the thyroid gland.
- Thyroid goiter is another way to describe an enlarged thyroid.
- Thyroid nodules are common growths on the thyroid gland. In most cases, they are benign (noncancerous).