The Thyroid Problem: How you can identify thyroid issues and free your health – Black Hills Pioneer

Posted: February 15, 2017 at 6:44 am

Could your thyroid actually be sabotaging your health? You or one of your loved ones could be suffering from thyroid problems, and Dr. Troy Howard of the Medical Center of Spearfish is here to help you identify and eradicate the problem, leaving you to a lifetime of wellness.

The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped organ located at the midline of the neck, just below the Adams apple, and is responsible for creating and secreting thyroid hormone. This special hormone regulates cell metabolism throughout the entire body, helping you stay balanced and healthy. When problems occur with this organ, such as the growth of a thyroid nodule, your metabolism can become unregulated, wreaking havoc on your body. Unfortunately, around 50 percent of the population will have a thyroid nodule somewhere within their thyroid gland.

Thyroid nodules are small growths within the thyroid gland, itself. While the overwhelming majority of thyroid nodules are benign, they are still capable of causing health issues. If the growth is large enough they may become palpable to the touch and can cause compressive symptoms by pressing on your windpipe or esophagus, causing shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing. Another issue that can arise from these growths is the excess production of the hormone thyroxine, which may lead to hyperthyroidism and cause symptoms such as weight loss, intolerance to heat, tremors, nervousness, and rapid or irregular heartbeat. Despite these issues, thyroid nodules can present asymptomatic, causing no outward sign of this inward problem. Some nodules can even be cancerous. Using ultrasound and fine needle biopsy, your physician can help determine if a thyroid nodule has features concerning for cancer.

The majority of thyroid nodules are caused by overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue. The cause is usually unknown; however, in some cases, autoimmune problems, iodine deficiencies, and overactive thyroid can put you a higher risk for developing a nodule.

To find out if you or a loved one is suffering from a nodule, they can be initially diagnosed by a physical exam performed by your primary care physician. If there is suspicion of a thyroid nodule, usually your physician will order several tests and obtain a tissue sample from within the nodule to help better characterize its significance and healthy risk. Once a thyroid nodule has been diagnosed, you may be counseled by your primary care physician, or referred to a specialist either an endocrinologist or a surgeon. If surgery is required, you can put yourself in the experienced hands of Dr. Howard, who can assure his patients of an extremely low rate issues resulting from the procedure.

For more information about thyroid problems, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Howard, call The Medical Center of Spearfish at 559-3201. Or, visit

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The Thyroid Problem: How you can identify thyroid issues and free your health – Black Hills Pioneer

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