Endocrine Conditions & Procedures

Jump to: Thyroid Nodules | Multinodular Goiters | Diseases | Cancer | Procedures

There are many endocrine conditions that impact the thyroid. These conditions include thyroid nodules, multinodular goiters, diseases of thyroid function, and cancer. If you suffer from any of these endocrine disorders, it’s important to understand them. You’ll also want to know how your condition can be treated, either through medication, surgery, or a combination.

Thyroid Nodules

endocrine disorders

A thyroid nodule is a fluid-filled lump that forms within the thyroid gland. Many of these nodules are benign and don't cause serious issues, but some nodules can make it difficult to breathe and swallow.

In serious cases, thyroid nodules can produce higher levels of thyroxine. This is a thyroid hormone. Excess levels of this hormone can cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism. These symptoms include:

  • Tremors
  • Increased perspiration
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat

If you suffer from any of these symptoms or experience difficulty breathing or swallowing, medical attention is a must.

Multinodular Goiters

When the thyroid is enlarged, it’s known as a goiter. This can mean that the entire thyroid is larger than normal or there are multiple nodules in the gland. These goiters can be toxic because of producing too much thyroid hormone, which can cause hyperthyroidism.

Multinodular goiters don't typically cause symptoms unless they are toxic. If the goiter is big enough, it may cause compression that can make it hard to breathe or swallow. A large goiter may also be visible.

Diseases of the Thyroid Function


Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is caused by an overactive thyroid that makes too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism causes a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Skin dryness
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent bowel movements

Hyperthyroidism treatments depend on the cause. If the endocrine disease is caused by toxic nodules, surgery is required to remove them. In other instances, anti-thyroid medications can be used to balance hormone production.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is caused by an underactive thyroid that doesn’t produce enough hormones. This can be caused by autoimmune disease, thyroid surgery, and medications such as those used to treat hyperthyroidism.

Hypothyroidism disrupts chemical reactions and the body, and it can cause a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, constipation, increased sensitivity to cold, weight gain, and dry skin. Treatment of this condition often requires medication to assist with hormone production.

Cancer

Some nodules in the thyroid gland may be cancerous. This type of cancer is uncommon and is said to be linked to changes in the DNA as well as high exposure to radiation. A doctor will perform a biopsy to determine if a thyroid nodule is benign or malignant.

If you’re diagnosed with thyroid cancer, rest assured that there is treatment available for you.

Endocrine Disease Procedures

endocrine disease prodecuresThe most common procedures in endocrinology include an excisional biopsy, lobectomy, and total thyroidectomy. Endocrine conditions can be treated using a variety of surgeries, depending on the extent of the condition.

Some patients may require an excisional biopsy, where a small part of the thyroid gland is removed. Other endocrine conditions require a lobectomy, which involves removing half of the thyroid gland. For the most serious cases, such as thyroid cancer, a total thyroidectomy is performed. In this procedure, the thyroid and all thyroid tissue are removed.

A doctor who specializes in metabolic diseases and endocrine disorders can best determine the treatment option that is best for you. If you require endocrine surgery, you’ll want to find a team that specializes in treating endocrine system diseases.

Our team, headed by Dr. Jason Cohen, is an experienced group of doctors that are well-versed in the various types of endocrine surgery. If you’re in the Los Angeles area and want to learn about endocrine procedures, get in touch!

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