Just What IS Your Thyroid?

We hear a lot about thyroid disorders these days. But what exactly is the thyroid? Your thyroid is a gland that sits below the Adam's apple at the bottom of your neck as part of the glands in the endocrine system. Because the thyroid is responsible for creating hormones that regulate your metabolism, it is very important the thyroid function properly. If you are diagnosed with either an overactive or underactive thyroid, an endocrinologist will treat you to regulate hormone production.

Overactive Thyroid

Also known as hyperthyroidism, this is when your thyroid produces too much hormone, causing weight loss and anxiety, among other symptoms. Hyperthyroidism affects about one percent of the population and is five to eight times more common in women.

Underactive Thyroid

Also known as hypothyroidism, this is the opposite of hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland can’t produce enough hormones, which can cause fatigue and weight gain. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the U.S. This occurs when the thyroid is attacked by the immune system and loses its ability to produce enough hormones.

If you think you may have thyroid issues, contact the UM Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology at 443-643-3200 for more information or to find an endocrinologist.