Thyroid and Parathyroid

Thyroid Surgical Scar

Actual patient- Thyroid Surgery performed in March2014

The thyroid and parathyroid are both glands in the neck that are responsible for producing hormones. The thyroid regulates the body’s metabolism, while the parathyroid controls the levels of calcium in the body. Both are prone to disorders involving abnormal amounts of hormone production and development of nodules and tumors.

Thyroid Conditions

Thyroid Gland

When the thyroid produces too much hormone, a condition called hyperthyroidism occurs. Metabolism speeds up and causes a rapid or irregular heartbeat, nervousness, irritability, sweating, sensitivity to heat, and weight loss. This is typically treated with beta-blockers, iodide, methimiaole, or radioactive iodine therapy.

Conversely, when too little hormone is produced, the condition is called hypothyroidism and is marked by a slowed-down metabolism which causes fatigue, constipation, muscle aches and pains, facial puffiness, dry skin, sensitivity to cold, and weight gain. Treatment with synthetic hormone replacement therapy is the usual course of action.

Thyroid surgery is indicated to treat a variety of thyroid disorders including thryoid nodules, thyroid cancer and overactive thyroid gland(hyperthyroidism).

Parathyroid Conditions

Parathyroid gland

Similar conditions can affect the parathyroid glands. Hyperparathyroidism occurs when excess hormone is produced, leading to an overabundance of calcium in the blood. Symptoms include osteoporosis, lack of energy, abdominal pain, kidney stones, bone and joint pain, depression, loss of concentration, nausea, and vomiting. Surgery is the most common treatment, and is successful in more than 90% of cases.

When the parathyroid glands produce too little hormone, the condition is known as hypoparathyroidism. Low calcium levels in the blood cause an increase in phosphorous and a tingling or burning sensation in the fingertips, toes, and lips; muscle aches and cramps; fatigue; weakness; anxiety; headaches; muscle spams in the hands, arms, throat, and around the mouth; depression; mood swings; and memory loss. Calcium supplements and Vitamin D are useful in treating this condition.

Overproduction of parathryoid hormone(PTH ) leads to hyperparathyroidism. Although medication is available to treat hyperparathyroidism, surgery is often recommended to cure this condition.