The thyroid: it’s an important butterfly-shaped gland located in the lower front of your neck, and you probably don’t pay much mind to it if it’s working well. It functions to regulate your metabolism, which is vital for your energy supply.
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But like any part of your body, things can go wrong. It can produce too much thyroid hormone (known as hyperthyroidism) that has varying symptoms including fatigue and anxiety, and in some cases it may have to come out altogether. Here’s what you should know about why a thyroid gland would be removed, and what to expect.
Reasons For Thyroid Removal
According to Healthline, the most common reason you’d need a thyroidectomy (the medical term for partial/full thyroid removal) is due to nodules or tumors on the gland. It notes that while many times these nodules are benign, they can also indicate cancer – and cause other complications.
For example, those nodules deemed benign can also grow and obstruct the throat, or trigger conditions such as hyperthyroidism, it notes. A goiter (abnormal enlargement of the thyroid) is another reason that a thyroid gland would need to be removed, as it can impede eating and breathing according to the source. In other cases, such as Graves’ disease, the body attacks the gland thinking it’s a foreign body that leads to the overproduction of hormones, it adds.