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Thyroid diseases

Definition

The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck, just below the voice box (larynx). It produces chemicals (hormones) that help the body control metabolism. Thyroid hormone is normally produced in response to another hormone released by the pituitary gland.

There are four main types of thyroid disease:

  • Hyperthyroidism -- too much thyroid hormone
  • Hypothyroidism -- too little thyroid hormone
  • Benign (noncancerous) thyroid disease
  • Thyroid cancer

For information about a specific type of thyroid disease, see one of the following:

References

Ladenson P, Kim M. Thyroid. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 244.

Review Date: 
5/23/2010
Reviewed By: 
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.