Thyroid Disorders

The Metabolic Hormone

The thyroid gland produces a hormone that controls many activities in your body, including how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. Diseases of the thyroid cause it to make either too much or too little of the hormone.

  • One in eight women will develop thyroid problems during her lifetime.
  • Women are more likely than men to have thyroid diseases, especially right after pregnancy and after menopause.

Types of thyroid disorders

Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is when your thyroid does not make enough thyroid hormones. This slows down many of your body's functions, like your metabolism. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's disease.

HyperThyroidism (graves disease): Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, causes your thyroid to make more thyroid hormone than your body needs. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease.

Goiter: A goiter is an unusually enlarged thyroid gland. Usually, the only symptom of a goiter is a swelling in your neck.

Thyroid nodule: Thyroid nodules are solid or fluid-filled lumps that form within your thyroid just above your breastbone. The great majority of thyroid nodules aren't serious and don't cause symptoms.