Dr. Nicholas Abt checking a patient's thyroids for thyroid nodules

When you think about the most important parts of your body, what comes to mind? While we specialize on ear, nose, and throat care, CEENTA also focuses on another critical part of your body: your thyroid.

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck above the collarbone and below the Adam’s apple. It produces hormones that flow through your body and regulate many of your bodily processes.

Why is the thyroid important?

As a part of the endocrine system, your thyroid gland works with the nervous, immune, and cardiovascular systems to keep many of your body’s functions optimal. These include:

  • Your heart rate
  • Your digestion
  • Your breathing
  • Your weight management
  • Your body temperature

What are common thyroid conditions?

When your thyroid is producing the right number of hormones, your body can maintain a steady metabolism. However, there are some thyroid conditions where this number is off, such as:


This condition is due to the thyroid underproducing hormones into the bloodstream. Common symptoms for hypothyroidism include weight gain, fatigue, muscle weakness, and increased sensitivity to heat or cold temperatures.


By contrast, hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid gland produces too many hormones, which increases your body’s metabolic rate. Patients with this condition may experience weight loss, hair loss, sleep disorders, and heart palpitations among other symptoms. Of the two conditions, hyperthyroidism is considered to be rarer but it could be an indication of immune disorders like Graves’ disease.

Thyroid nodules

Thyroid nodules are lumps that form inside the thyroid gland. These nodules can range in size from just a few millimeters to quite large. A thyroid ultrasound is typically used to characterize the nodules and categorize them based on certain characteristics. Your physician will determine which nodules can be monitored over time and which ones will need a biopsy. A consultation with a thyroid surgeon is a great first step in this process.

Dr. Nicholas Abt, a CEENTA head and neck cancer surgeon from our SouthPark office, encourages patients concerned about their thyroid to seek an exam. "Thyroid nodules are quite common, and we have excellent ways to differentiate ones that won't cause problems versus ones that need a closer look through a biopsy or removal of the thyroid gland. I encourage anyone with a thyroid nodule to reach out to a thyroid doctor to help navigate this process."

How can you improve your thyroid health?

Although there is not enough research to support a “hypothyroidism diet” for those with this condition, there are steps you can take to help your thyroid function properly. A weekly exercise routine can boost your metabolism and stimulate thyroid hormone production. Eating food rich in iodine like seafood and dairy products is also suggested for regulation. Getting a proper amount of sleep is also connected to thyroid health – not too much and not too little.

What treatment options for thyroids are available at CEENTA?

Your thyroid health is important, and that’s why CEENTA utilizes a team of thyroid specialists to provide thorough examinations to see if it is properly producing hormones. Our physicians also recommend medicinal and surgical treatment options, including thyroid removal. If you believe that you may have a thyroid disorder, schedule your next appointment with Dr. Abt today by calling 704-295-3000.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. If you need an appointment with an ENT doctor in one of our North or South Carolina locations, you can schedule appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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