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Thyroid Gland Disorders

The thyroid gland is responsible for producing several hormones that influence all the metabolic processes in the body. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck just below Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland is parts of the endocrine system.

When the thyroid gland produces too much hormone called hyperthyroidism or not enough or hypothyroidism, several different disorders can arise.

Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, goiter, and thyroid nodules are the four most common disorders of the thyroid.


The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease. It affects about 70 percent of the people with an overactive thyroid. Toxic nodular goiter or multinodular goiter can also cause the thyroid gland to overproduce its hormones.

When there are too much thyroid hormones being produced it will cause symptoms such as:

  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Racing heart
  • Irritability
  • Increased sweating
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • There will be trouble sleeping
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bulging eyes, which is a symptom of Graves’ disease
  • Weight loss

Treatments for hyperthyroidism may include the destruction of the thyroid gland or block it from producing its hormones. However, if the thyroid gland is destroyed such as the case in radioactive iodine treatment or surgery that will destroy the thyroid gland, the patient will eventually develop hypothyroidism and need to take thyroid hormone daily.


Hypothyroidism is the opposite of the hyperthyroidism. The gland is not able to produce the hormones which the body needs. Often caused by Hashimoto’s disease and the surgical removal of the thyroid gland, hypothyroidism in the United States, affects around 4.6 percent of people 12 years old and older.

When there is too little thyroid hormone production, these will lead to symptoms such as:

  • Feeling tired
  • Dry skin
  • Hypersensitivity to cold
  • Memory problems
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Weakness
  • Slow heart rate

Hashimoto’s Disease

Hashimoto’s Disease is another disease that causes hypothyroidism and is common among middle-aged women in the United States. The medical condition occurs when the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks the slowly destroys the thyroid gland and its ability to produce hormones.

Graves’ Disease

Grave’s disease is an autoimmune disorder and is a common cause of hyperthyroidism. The immune system attacks the gland, stimulating it to overproduce hormones. It affects both men and women but most common in women ages 20 to 30 years old. It also has risk factors such as pregnancy, stress, and smoking.

To learn more about Thyroid Glands and its effects on the human body, please visit the following links:

If you think you are suffering from Thyroid Gland Disorders you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Thyroid Gland Disorders as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).