What Can Go Wrong With Your Thyroid?

Most people have heard of the thyroid gland, but few people know much about it until something goes wrong.

As a top-ranked surgeon in McKinney, Texas, Scott A. deVilleneuve, MD, sees thyroid disorders on a regular basis at Surgical Associates of North Texas. In this blog, he explains what the thyroid is and some common problems associated with it.

Why your thyroid matters

Your thyroid plays an important role in an intricate network of glands known as the endocrine system. The thyroid itself lies beneath your Adam’s apple and wraps around your trachea. It’s not very large, but it has an important job: producing hormones that regulate your metabolism.

When you hear the word metabolism, your first thought is probably food-related and how quickly you can burn off an extra slice of pizza. But there are numerous bodily systems involved in your metabolism, including:

Because of the role your thyroid plays in all of these bodily processes, even a minor dysfunction can cause a variety of symptoms.

Signs of a thyroid problem

Thyroid symptoms can vary depending on the severity and type of hormone imbalance. For example, thyroid disorders can cause both weight loss and weight gain.

Other signs of a thyroid problem can include:

Thyroid disorders can also interfere with a healthy menstrual cycle and cause irregular or heavy periods.

Types of thyroid dysfunctions

Approximately 200 million people worldwide have some type of thyroid dysfunction. When you have a thyroid problem, you either have too much or too little hormone production. This can occur for several reasons, including:

Fortunately, thyroid dysfunctions respond well to treatment. In most cases, medications to rebalance hormone levels can address your symptoms. However, sometimes, surgery may offer the best solution.

How thyroid surgery works

This treatment, also known as a thyroidectomy, involves removing abnormal tissue from the gland or the entire thyroid itself. Dr. deVilleneuve performs this procedure by making a small incision in your neck near the gland to access your thyroid. 

Whenever possible, Dr. deVilleneuve uses minimally invasive techniques with tiny incisions and specialized instruments to perform thyroid surgeries. This approach causes less trauma to the area, resulting in fewer risks and faster recovery times. 

After having thyroid surgery, you can usually resume normal activities within about 10 days. If Dr. deVilleneuve removes your entire thyroid gland, you’ll need to take hormone replacement medication for the rest of your life.

Do you have a thyroid disorder or want to see if you do? Dr. deVilleneuve can give you a thorough evaluation and go over your treatment options. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Surgical Associates of North Texas today.

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