When an individual has a thyroid disease, she has a condition in which the thyroid gland does not work properly. MedlinePlus noted that in the United States, millions of people have a thyroid disease, with women being diagnosed more often than men.
It may be a disease in which the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormones or too little. Some types of thyroid diseases are cancerous, while others are benign and may not cause symptoms.
Hyperthyroidism is a thyroid disease in which the patient’s thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine. The overproduction of these thyroid hormones can cause symptoms such as an increased appetite, tremors, rapid heartbeat and an increased sensitivity to heat.
More than 70 percent of hyperthyroidism cases are caused by Graves’ disease, noted the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other causes of hyperthyroidism include thyroiditis and hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules.
Treatments for hyperthyroidism include radioactive iodine, surgery, anti-thyroid medicine and beta blockers.
In the United States, about 5 percent of individuals have hypothyroidism, with women being diagnosed more often than men, according to the National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service.
With hypothyroidism, the patient’s thyroid gland does not make enough of the thyroid hormones, resulting in symptoms such as fatigue, thinning hair, cold intolerance and a puffy face.
Several conditions can cause hypothyroidism, include radiation treatment to the neck, Hashimoto’s disease and surgical removal of the thyroid gland. Treatment for hypothyroidism is synthetic thyroxine.
Thyroiditis is a thyroid disease in which the patient has an inflammation of her thyroid gland.