Thyroid diseases

Definition

The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck, just below the voice box (larynx). It produces chemicals (hormones) that help the body control metabolism. Thyroid hormone is normally produced in response to another hormone released by the pituitary gland.

There are four main types of thyroid disease:

  • Hyperthyroidism -- too much thyroid hormone
  • Hypothyroidism -- too little thyroid hormone
  • Benign (noncancerous) thyroid disease
  • Thyroid cancer

For information about a specific type of thyroid disease, see one of the following:

Alternative Names

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Symptoms

Signs and tests

Treatment

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

Complications

Calling your health care provider

Prevention

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Endocrine glands Primary and secondary hypothyroidism Brain-thyroid link Thyroid gland

References

Ladenson P, Kim M. Thyroid. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 244.

Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Review Date: May 23, 2010

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