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Care and Treatment for Thyroid Disorders

Why Choose Treatment for Thyroid Disorders at University of Colorado Hospital?

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With just the right balance of patient care, research and education, University of Colorado Hospital provides the highest quality treatment for thyroid conditions in the nation.

What are Thyroid Disorders?

The thyroid is a gland in the neck just below the Adam's apple that secretes hormones into the bloodstream. The primary hormone it secretes, called T3, regulates your metabolism (energy your body uses).

There are two main types of thyroid disorders:

Hyperthyroidism – The thyroid gland becomes overactive and secretes too much hormone. This can cause you to:

  • Be tired
  • Be nervous
  • Have tremors
  • Sweat
  • Get hot easily
  • Lose weight
  • Have diarrhea

The most common type of hyperthyroidism is Graves' Disease. This disease causes your immune system to work against your thyroid gland. The gland enlarges and secretes excess hormones.

Hypothyroidism – The thyroid gland is under-active and does not secrete enough hormone. This can cause you to:

  • Be tired
  • Be depressed
  • Feel sleepy
  • Have dry skin
  • Gain weight
  • Have irregular periods (women)

The most common cause for hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's Disease. This disease destroys the thyroid.

Tests and Treatments

Blood Test

Examines your hormone levels for imbalances.

 

Thyroid Scan

A dye is injected and an imaging scan gives your doctor a picture of your thyroid and helps determine the type of hyperthyroidism you have.

 

Common Treatments for Thyroid Disease

 

Medication. If you have hyperthyroidism, your doctor will prescribe medication to reduce your hormone levels and in some cases will prevent your immune system from working against your thyroid.

 

Radioactive Iodine. If you have hyperthyroidism, this treatment uses a form of radiation to limit your thyroid’s ability to produce hormones. It may be used as an initial treatment or if medication fails.

 

Surgery. If you have severe hyperthyroidism that has not responded to medication, or if you prefer not to use radioactive iodine, your thyroid can be removed.

 

Hormone Replacement Therapy. If you have hypothyroidism, your doctor will prescribe hormones for you to replace the hormones your thyroid is not producing.

Your Medical Team

Our program at University of Colorado Hospital uses a multidisciplinary, team approach to provide you with the care and support you need to during treatment for your thyroid disease.

 

Thyroid Disorders Specialists

  • Endocrinologist – A doctor who specializes in the body's hormone activity. An endocrinologist will evaluate your symptoms and determine the best treatment plan for your thyroid disease.
  • Surgeon – If you must have your thyroid removed, a specially-trained surgeon will perform your surgery.
  • Registered Nurse – A nurse licensed by the state who can assist you with medical questions and provides education when necessary.