Santa Cruz Ear, Nose, & Throat Medical Group

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How ENTs Treat Thyroid Conditions

When patients develop a thyroid condition, it changes the way they approach each day. The thyroid is a gland that is located in the lower neck and is responsible for metabolism growth and development. When the thyroid is compromised, both children and adults face an uphill battle to get well. An ear, nose and throat (ENT) professional is able to treat a number of different thyroid conditions.

Signs of a thyroid condition

The following thyroid conditions are the most known; hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroiditis and thyroid nodules. The following four thyroid disorders require treatment from a professional before they become too dangerous. 

  • Hypothyroidism – When the body is lacking the thyroid hormone that it normally produces, hypothyroidism becomes a problem. The cause of this can be from a gland that isn’t working or a missing gland from the body.
  • Hyperthyroidism – This is the reverse of Hypothyroidism. The body produces too much of the thyroid hormone, which is just as bad as under producing. Grave’s Disease falls under this category and is common.
  • Thyroiditis – Inflammation of the thyroid gland is called thyroiditis. Some variations of it can be caused by infection, so patients with sinus conditions are the most vulnerable. Some early stages of hyperthyroidism turn into Thyroiditis.
  • Thyroid Nodules – Bumps in the thyroid can go from small to large if left unchecked. This is the most visual of the four thyroid conditions and should be checked by a professional immediately.  

Treatment

Treatment options for thyroid conditions are based on type and whether an ENT specialist is required. Thyroid nodules usually fall under the expertise of ENT specialists. An ultrasound gives doctors a better idea of what they’re dealing with and whether surgery is an option. Thyroid biopsies and surgeries are safe once the necessary information is collected about the condition. Doctors will run thyroid function tests, ultrasonography, fine-needle aspiration biopsy and a regular thyroid scan. All of this is done to find out if the nodule is cancerous since that involves an entirely different treatment option. 
Benign nodules are treated with thyroid hormone suppression therapy of surgery. There are anti-thyroid medications available like methimazole that work great for some patients. If the size of the thyroid nodule is small enough, doctors may wait to see how it develops over time. This lets them to run further tests to make sure it doesn’t get worse while allowing the body to correct the thyroid problem itself. If the condition gets better, then treatment isn’t necessary.
 


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