Thyroid Disease: An Overview

There are many types of Thyroid Disease. To bring attention to the different disorders, we are featuring a different Thyroid topic each month. For the month of September we are presenting an overview of Thyroid Disease.

 

The Thyroid

The thyroid gland is butterfly-shaped and is located in the front of the neck attached to the lower part of the voicebox (or larynx) and to the upper part of the windpipe (or trachea).

 

 

Types of Thyroid Disease:

Thyroid Testing

  • TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone): Measurement of TSH using a sensitive assay is presently the recommended initial screening test when thyroid disease is suspected.
  • T3/T4 testing: Measurement of blood thyroxine (T4) or triiodothyronine (T3) is performed when the TSH test is abnormal to determine the extent of the thyroid abnormality.
  • Radioactive iodine uptake and thyroid scan
  • Thyroid ultrasound
  • Thyroid antibodies
  • Thyroid biopsy

Read more about thyroid testing

Life Stages

Thyroid disease affects people at different stages of life:

Treatment

Treatment of Thyroid disease depends on the type of thyroid disease you have.

  • Hypothyroidism: Levothyroxine replacement, synthetic or desiccated
  • Hyperthyroidism: Radioactive iodine, anti-thyroid medications, beta blockers or surgery (thyroidectomy)
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: Levothyroxine replacement, synthetic or desiccated
  • Nodules: Radioactive iodine, anti-thyroid medications, surgery
  • Graves’ eye disease: Corticosteroid drug, Oral prednisone, orbital decompression surgery
  • Thyroid cancer: Surgery, thyroid hormone therapy, radioactive iodine, external radiation therapy, chemotherapy

Read more about thyroid disease – Resource Material

Help us to Help Others

Awareness/Advocacy

  • Public education programs
  • Advocacy for improved thyroid care
  • Annual June is Thyroid Month activities

Patient Support

  • Toll free telephone Help line and email access for thyroid patients
  • Thyroid Health Guides and other educational material
  • Thyrobulletin newsletter
  • Thyroid.ca site with the latest news

Thyroid Research

  • Annual Research Awards program provides funding for projects carried out in Canadian thyroid laboratories.