Thyroid & Parathyroid Conditions

What Are the Thyroid and Parathyroid?

The thyroid is an endocrine gland that produces a hormone that regulates metabolism. It’s located near the collarbone.

The parathyroid glands are in the neck and control how much calcium enters the bloodstream and certain tissues.

When these glands aren’t functioning properly, it can cause symptoms ranging from depression and fatigue to difficulty swallowing and speaking. If you think you may be experiencing a thyroid disorder, our team at Charleston ENT & Allergy can determine what’s causing the problem and how best to respond to it.

Woman holding her throat with a diagram of a thyroid.

What Are Common Thyroid Conditions?

  • Hyperthyroidism refers to an overactive thyroid, during which the thyroid produces an excess amount of hormones.
  • Hypothyroidism refers to an underactive thyroid. In this condition, the thyroid gland produces an insufficient amount of hormones.
  • Thyroid Nodules are solid lumps or fluid-filled cysts that can cause difficulties breathing and swallowing, in addition to affecting thyroid hormone levels.

What Are Common Parathyroid Conditions?

  • Hyperparathyroidism causes the parathyroid to create an excess amount of hormones.
  • Hypoparathyroidism causes the parathyroid to create an insufficient amount of hormones.

How Do I Know If I Have a Parathyroid or Thyroid Disorder?

Hyperthyroidism can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, anxiety, irritability, nervousness, fatigue, heat intolerance, excessive sweating, tremors, weight loss and increased bowel movement frequency.

Hypothyroidism can result in depression, fatigue, sore muscles, dry skin, puffy face, swollen legs, weight gain, constipation and sensitivity to cold.

Thyroid nodules can cause a lump in the neck, and symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

Hyperparathyroidism can result in osteoporosis, kidney stones, bone and joint pain, weakness, lethargy, loss of concentration, depression, loss of appetite, constipation, nausea and vomiting.

Hypoparathyroidism can cause weakness, anxiety, fatigue, muscle aches and cramps, headaches, muscle spasms, cataracts, depression, mood swings, memory loss and tingling sensations in the fingers, toes and lips.

Why Do Thyroid Conditions Occur?

Causes of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder
  • Inflammation of the thyroid gland, or thyroiditis
  • Overactive thyroid nodules
  • Too much iodine
  • Pituitary gland tumor

Causes of hypothyroidism include:

  • Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder
  • Excessive response to hyperthyroidism treatment
  • Thyroid surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Medications, including lithium

Causes of thyroid nodules include:

  • Iodine deficiency
  • Hashimoto’s disease
  • Thyroid cyst
  • Enlarged thyroid
  • Excess tissue growth
  • Cancer

Why Do Parathyroid Conditions Occur?

Causes of hyperparathyroidism include:

  • A benign tumor, called an adenoma, in one of the parathyroid glands
  • Hyperplasia, a condition where the parathyroid glands are enlarged

Causes of hypoparathyroidisms include:

  • Injury to the parathyroid glands
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Genetic conditions

How Are These Conditions Treated?

Some thyroid conditions can be treated with medication. In other cases, particularly when cancer has been detected, our provider may recommend removing the thyroid.

Your otolaryngologist will determine what treatment will work best and guide you through the next steps. If medication is prescribed, they’ll discuss how to take it and if you can expect any side effects.

If your doctor recommends surgery, they’ll describe how the procedure is done, ways to prepare for it and any necessary aftercare. No matter what’s causing your thyroid disorder or the next steps that are recommended, our team at Charleston ENT & Allergy can provide treatment that fits your needs. We’re here to guide you through the process of regaining your health.