The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just above the collarbone. It is one of the endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid hormones control the rate of many activities in the body. These include how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. All of these activities are your body's metabolism.
If you suspect you have thyroid issues, Dr. Humphreys will provide a full evaluation including your medical history and provide an exam to feel your neck to check your thyroid gland for changes in size or shape. Dr. Humphreys may also look for changes in your heart rate, reflexes, muscle strength and skin texture.
The tiny parathyroids are also located in the lower neck. There are normally four little glands located behind the thyroid. Despite the similar sound of the name, the parathyroid is different from the thyroid. The parathyroid generates a hormone that regulates calcium levels. This hormone (PTH or Para-Thyroid Hormone), causes the bones to release their calcium into the bloodstream, where it is available to be used by the cells, tissues, and organs. Calcium levels must fall in a very narrow normal zone for proper balance. Tissues such as nerves, muscles, brain, and heart must have very critically precise levels of calcium to function properly.
The most common parathyroid disorder is over-functioning (hyper-parathyroidism) which causes elevated PTH, and high blood calcium levels to develop. This leads to weakened bones, as they have lose their calcium. It also leads to calcium stones in the kidneys, which overwork trying to eliminate the excess calcium. A typical person with hyperparathyroidism has a history of several broken bones, kidney stones, and neuro-psychologic disorders.
Surgical removal of the overfunctioning parathyroids, or even a PTH-producing adenoma tumor, will cure the condition. The procedure is typically done in the hospital under general anesthesia. An overnight hospital stay may be needed. The scar is made using Plastic Surgical technique, and is imperceptible when it heals. Pain and “down time” are usually low.