The Thyroid Gland is located in the front of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It produces hormones that influence the activity of all cells in the body.
- Hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid/Grave’s disease) is caused when the thyroid produces an excess of thyroid hormones which causes symptoms of weight loss, palpitations, sleep disturbance, agitation and anxiety.
- Hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) describes the condition where there are low levels of thyroid hormones leading to tiredness, weight gain and poor energy levels.
- Acute Thyroiditis is caused by a probable viral infection or autoimmune process that causes stored thyroid hormones to be released from a damaged gland. People usually experience symptoms of high thyroid levels (see hyperthyroidism above), over a period of time levels return to normal and in some cases may decline and fall below normal. In its early stages it can be difficult to distinguish between this and Grave’s disease.
- Goitre is an enlargement of the thyroid gland resulting in a visible swelling in the neck.
- Thyroid Cancer is a rare cancer that is most likely to affect people who are middle aged or older. However, one type of cancer (papillary) can occur in people younger than this. With treatment, the outlook for most people with cancer of the thyroid is very good and many people are completely cured.