Most cases of diagnosed thyroid disease, find that a patient is found to simply have either an underactive thyroid gland or what is called "hypothyroidism" or they have an overactive thyroid gland, which is called "hyperthyroidism". Physicians diagnose these two opposing thyroid diseases by blood testing. Blood tests are usually prompted by a patient's symptoms as observed by a doctor. With hypothyroidism, the "hypo means low" in the diagnostic wording. With hypothyroidism being an underactive thyroid gland, and since thyroid hormone permeates the entire body from head to toe, for setting the metabolism (energy from all things consumed) in the body, a person will feel slow energy because of this condition. Patients will feel tired, needing more sleep, depression, dryness of skin and hair, constipation, plus the biggie for most patients – being weight gain. The culprit that causes an underactive gland, is usually "Hashimoto's Thyroiditis". With an overactive gland diagnosis, meaning exactly what it sounds like as well – a metabolism that is sped up or medically called "Grave's disease" (symptoms - next paragraph).

Symptoms of hyper activeness in the thyroid gland (Note: The gland sits just below the Adam's Apple and is basically butterfly shaped), are opposite of an under active, slowed gland. These include having a sped up feeling in the body, anxiety and nervousness, sweaty and oily skin, losing weight and chronic diarrhea with loss of the ability to absorb nutrition. Both thyroid conditions can cause gland enlargement, called goiters; meaning a thyroid with mild, moderate or severe swelling in the neck, caused by this enlargement of the gland. This aspect of symptomology is most prominent in patients diagnosed with hyperthyroidism -thyroiditis, medically called "Grave's Disease", as previously mentioned. While these are simplified descriptions of these two conditions, they can be accompanied by other strange manifestations such as a condition that can become severe over time, called "Riedel thyroiditis". In many cases a patient with this somewhat rare condition is euthyroid, meaning no thyroid hormone imbalance. However, hypothyroidism is noted in approximately 30% of patients diagnosed with Riedel's. Again, the term "Euthyroid' is used when a patient has normal levels of thyroid hormone; so, they are neither hypothyroid or hyperthyroid.

So, Riedel thyroiditis statistically causes an underactive gland in approximately 1/3 of cases and hyperthyroidism in rare cases. The strange aspect of Riedel thyroiditis, is that normal thyroid tissue (parenchyma) is replaced by an inflammatory condition over time, causing a fibrotic tissue to grow and eventually extend outside of the thyroid area, into areas of the throat. This reveals the importance of early diagnosis. Some cases require surgery, especially those that cause difficulty in swallowing or that begin to obstruct the breathing passage. The condition, otherwise, can be improved by injected and/or oral cortisone steroid therapy. Anti-inflammatory drugs are administered by a qualified thyroid or endocrinology doctor. Other complications include hoarseness or laryngitis of the voice due to vocal cord involvement - difficulty projecting with the voice (vocal weakness).

Sometimes the "parathyroid glands" located behind the two lobes of the thyroid gland are affected by Riedel's. There are 4 of these glands; two on each side, that are small and somewhat pyramid shaped. These also become unable to function correctly, which is called "hypoparathyroidism". The parathyroid glands are responsible for proper calcium levels in the body. When they are hindered by Riedel thyroiditis, this is when hypoparathyroidism occurs, which causes an array of symptoms itself. So, we see that strange symptom-manifestations can occur with Riedel thyroiditis. It is very important to seek medical care if the condition is suspected by patients who have previously been diagnosed with another thyroid disease – hypo or hyper thyroid function and even by euthyroid people who have not already been diagnosed with thyroid disease but who see gland overgrowth symptoms occurring. Imaging tests can be ordered by a qualified doctor, which can definitively diagnose this rare but serious disease.

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Author's Bio: 

Most of my other published written works have been on the subject of health disorders/diseases. I literally researched 1,000s of hours in order to compile the best possible information for them in my own words, that could fit into 6,000 to 12,000 word-length books. I do have some that are much longer. Most people who are ill with these diseases are not looking for lengthy dissertations, in order to obtain the most important information that most laypersons are seeking (non medical professionals, who are patients). Very few doctors have time to thoroughly educate their patients. The reputable information that is available online, usually requires searching multiple sites to find all of the abridged, full-spectrum, layperson information needed by uninformed patients.