The Thyroid Gland is a small gland located in the front of the neck, often weighing less than an ounce. This small gland is made up of two halves called lobes, and they lie along the trachea (windpipe). The lobes are joined together by a narrow band of thyroid tissue known as the isthmus.
The function of the thyroid is to absorb iodine (found in many foods) and to convert it into thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for the regulation and metabolism of many body processes. A normal thyroid gland produces about 80% of the hormone, thyroxine (T4), and 20% of triiodothyronine (T3). Your physician may order blood tests to check the levels of the hormones. This can be an indication of whether the thyroid gland is working properly.
There are many reasons that Thyroid Surgery (thyroidectomy) may be necessary. A thyroidectomy is used to treat thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, goiter (enlargement of the thyroid), and sometimes other disorders of the thyroid. A goiter is a noncancerous enlargement of the gland that may cause blockage of the windpipe and esophagus. In this procedure, a part or all of the thyroid gland is removed.
Your surgeon will evaluate your specific thyroid problem to identify the best treatment option for you. Many times this may involve coordinated care with an endocrinologist.
The parathyroid is a group of glands that produce a hormone (PTH) to regulate calcium and phosphorous levels in the body.
Bone and tooth development and strength are dependent on calcium. As with the thyroid gland, too much or too little PTH causes a variety of medical problems.
Hyperparathyroidismoccurs when too much PTH is secreted into the bloodstream. This creates an imbalance of high calcium levels and low phosphorous levels. Symptoms include osteoporosis, kidney stones, bone and joint pain, weakness, lethargy, loss of concentration, depression, loss of appetite, constipation, nausea and vomiting. The cause may be linked to a benign tumor or enlarged parathyroid gland. Surgery is the preferred treatment for hyperparathyroidism.
When too little PTH is produced, calcium levels in the blood drop while phosphorous levels rise. This condition is known as hypoparathyroidismand causes weakness, anxiety, fatigue, muscle aches and cramps, headaches, muscle spasms, cataracts, depression, mood swings, memory loss and tingling sensations in the fingers, toes and lips.
Injury to the parathyroid glands, endocrine disorders and genetic conditions are the most common causes of hypoparathyroidism. Calcium carbonate and vitamin D supplements are given to restore the proper balance of calcium and phosphorous in the body.
Call Eastern Carolina ENT Head & Neck Surgery at 252-752-5227 for more information or to schedule an appointment.