Thyroid Conditions

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The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits in the neck above the collarbone and makes thyroid hormone. Millions of people suffer from disorders of the thyroid gland, which can greatly impact their health and well-being. With proper diagnosis and care, many people are able to successfully manage their thyroid conditions.                                                                            

The specialized endocrinologists and endocrine surgeons at UT Southwestern Medical Center skillfully evaluate, diagnose, and treat every type of thyroid condition.

Advanced Treatment for Thyroid Disorders

An important part of the endocrine system, the thyroid gland produces hormones that help the body regulate metabolism and the rate at which different cells work, including cells in organs such as the heart.

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s dedicated endocrinologists and endocrine surgeons treat thyroid gland disorders that include:

  • Goiter: Enlarged thyroid gland
  • Hyperthyroidism: Too many thyroid hormones are produced (“overactive thyroid”); this can be caused by Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder
  • Hypothyroidism: Too few thyroid hormones are produced (“underactive thyroid”)
  • Thyroiditis: Swelling of the thyroid
  • Thyroid nodules: Noncancerous lumps in the thyroid
  • Thyroid cancer: Cancer that arises in the thyroid gland

Pediatric Thyroid Conditions

The thyroid plays an important role in a child’s development, as thyroid hormones manage metabolism and growth as well as facilitate sexual development. Children who have thyroid problems need to be seen by a pediatric specialist to avoid long-term complications.

UT Southwestern Pediatric Group offers state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatment, and management of thyroid conditions. Our nationally recognized program brings together a multidisciplinary team that provides compassionate care for children with thyroid disorders, including hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroiditis, thyroid nodules, and thyroid cancer.

Diagnosis of Thyroid Disorders

For people suspected of having a thyroid condition, UT Southwestern endocrinologists conduct a complete history and physical examination.

This is usually followed by laboratory tests of blood and urine – to analyze levels of antibodies and thyroid hormones – and might include other lab tests.

In some cases, we take a tissue sample (biopsy) and/or order imaging studies, such as ultrasound of the neck, nuclear medicine scanning of the thyroid, and computed tomography (CT) scanning.

Treatment of Thyroid Disorders

The treatment of thyroid disorders varies, depending on the specific condition. UT Southwestern offers advanced treatments that include:

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Medications to stop excess hormone production
  • Surgery – including minimally invasive procedures – to remove tumors
  • Surgery to remove the thyroid gland

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