What Is Graves' Disease? First described by Sir Robert Graves in the early 19th century, Graves' disease is one of the most common of all thyroid problems. It is also the leading cause of hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland produces excessive hormones.
With hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, the thyroid makes too much, explains Dr. Sood. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s disease, a condition where the immune system makes antibodies that destroy thyroid cells and stop them from making the thyroid hormone.
Primary hypothyroidism is caused by a problem with the thyroid gland itself. Secondary hypothyroidism occurs when another problem interferes with the thyroid's ability to produce hormones. For example, the pituitary gland or hypothalamus produce hormones that trigger the release of thyroid hormone.
"Thyroid cancer is a growth in the thyroid gland and differs from other thyroid problems, which are typically conditions resulting from changes in thyroid hormone production," explains Christopher Sullivan, MD, an associate professor of head and neck surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., and a thyroid cancer surgeon.
A thyroid nodule is a lump that can develop in your thyroid gland. It can be solid or filled with fluid. You can have a single nodule or a cluster of nodules. Thyroid nodules are relatively common and rarely cancerous. Your thyroid is a small... Read More. A thyroid nodule is a lump that can develop in your thyroid gland.