Thyroid Problems Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Thyroid Problems article.

Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect ...

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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Abruption: A sudden breaking off or away. Abruption of the placenta (abruptio placentae) i...

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Absorb: 1. To take something in, as through the skin or the intestine.
2....

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Adam's apple: The familiar feature on the front of the neck that is the forward protrusion...

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Adenoma: A benign tumor that arises in or resembles glandular tissue. If an adenoma become...

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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Angina: Chest pain due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The pain is ...

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Antibody: An immunoglobulin, a specialized immune protein, produced because of the introdu...

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Antithyroid antibody: An antibody directed against the thyroid gland, a gland which produc...

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Antithyroid drug: A drug directed against the thyroid gland. The antithyroid drugs include...

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Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, w...

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Aspiration: Removal of a sample of fluid and cells through a needle. Aspiration also re...

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Atrial: Pertaining to the atria, the upper chambers of the heart, as in atrial fibrillatio...

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Atrial fibrillation: An abnormal and irregular heart rhythm in which electrical signals ar...

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Autoimmune: Pertaining to autoimmunity, a misdirected immune response that occurs when the...

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Benign: Not malignant. A benign tumor is one that does not invade surrounding tissue or sp...

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Beta blocker: A class of drugs that block the effect of beta-adrenergic substances such as...

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Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Carcinoma: Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover body organs. Ex...

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

Carpal tunnel syndrome: Compression and irritation of the median nerve as it passes under ...

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Cartilage: Firm, rubbery tissue that cushions bones at joints. A flexible kind of cartilag...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Coma: A state of deep, unarousable unconsciousness. A coma may occur as a result of head t...

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Congenital: A condition that is present at birth, whether or not it is inherited.

Constipation: Infrequent and frequently incomplete bowel movements. Constipation is the op...

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Corticosteroid: Any of the steroid hormones made by the outer portion (cortex) of the adre...

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Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airwa...

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CT scan: Computerized tomography scan. Pictures of structures within the body created by a...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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Dry skin: Abnormally dry skin. Can be caused by a dry climate, winter weather, deficiency...

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Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

Eclampsia: Convulsions (seizures) occurring with pregnancy-associated high blood pressure ...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Eskalith: See: Lithium.

Esophagus: The tube that connects the pharynx (throat) with the stomach. The esophagus lie...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Fetus: An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after concep...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degr...

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Fibrillation: In cardiology, an abnormal and erratic twitching of the heart muscle.

Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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Goiter: A noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid gland. With a goiter, the levels of thyr...

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Hair loss: Hair loss is the thinning of hair on the scalp. The medical term for hair loss ...

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Hashimoto thyroiditis: A progressive disease of the thyroid gland characterized by the pre...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it and, specifically...

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Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. The heart rate ...

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Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, irrespective of the cause. Hepatitis is caused by a ...

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Herbal: 1. An adjective, referring to herbs, as in an herbal tea.
2. A...

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Hoarseness: Hoarseness is a term referring to abnormal voice changes. Hoarseness may be ma...

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Hypothalamus: The area of the brain that secretes substances that influence pituitary and ...

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Hypothyroid: Deficiency of thyroid hormone which is normally made by the thyroid gland wh...

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Immunoglobulin: A protein produced by plasma cells and lymphocytes and characteristic of t...

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Insomnia: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep due to a number ...

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Intestinal obstruction: Blockage of the intestine by infolding (intussusception), malform...

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Iodide: The chemical form to which iodine in the diet is reduced before it is absorbed thr...

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Iodine: An element in the diet that is essential for the manufacture of hormones by the th...

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Iodine deficiency: A lack of sufficient iodine in the diet, which can lead to inadequate p...

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Jaundice: Yellow staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally h...

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Joint: The area where two bones are attached for the purpose of permitting body parts to m...

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Levothyroxine: A synthetic thyroid hormone used as a thyroid hormone replacement drug (bra...

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Lithium: A naturally occurring salt that, in purified form, is used to treat certain psych...

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Lupus: A chronic inflammatory disease that is caused by autoimmunity. Patients with lupus ...

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Lymph: The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system, carrying cell...

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Malignant: 1. Tending to be severe and become progressively worse, as in malignant ...

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Maternal: 1. Pertaining to the mother as, for example, the maternal mortality rate....

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrua...

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Mental retardation: The condition of having an IQ measured as below 70 to 75 and significa...

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Metabolic: Relating to metabolism, the whole range of biochemical processes that occur wit...

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Microscope: An optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small objects....

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Miscarriage: Inadvertent loss of a pregnancy before the fetus is viable. A considerable pr...

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Mortality: A fatal outcome or, in one word, death. The word "mortality" is derived from "m...

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Mortality rate: A death rate. There are a number of different types of mortality rates as,...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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Nodular: Bumpy.

Nodule: A small collection of tissue that is palpable (can be felt) at any level of the sk...

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Nuclear medicine: The branch of medicine concerned with the use of radioisotopes in the di...

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Obstruction: Blockage of a passageway. See, for example: Airway obstruction; Intestinal o...

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Oncologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. After a ...

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Osteoporosis: Thinning of the bones, with reduction in bone mass, due to depletion of calc...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Palpitations: Unpleasant sensations of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart. In ...

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Pathologist: A physician who identifies diseases and conditions by studying abnormal cells...

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Pituitary: 1. As an adjective, pertaining to the pituitary gland or its hormonal se...

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Pituitary adenoma: A benign tumor of the pituitary, the master gland that controls other g...

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Pituitary gland: The main endocrine gland. It is a small structure in the head. It is ca...

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Placenta: A temporary organ that joins the mother and fetus, transferring oxygen and nutri...

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Placental: Pertaining to the placenta, the organ joining the mother and fetus during pregn...

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Plexus: 1. In medicine, a network or tangle of lymphatic vessels, nerves, or veins....

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Postpartum: The period just after delivery, as with postpartum depression. Postpartum refe...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Prenatal: Occurring or existing before birth.

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy ...

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Radioactive: Emitting energy waves due to decaying atomic nuclei. Radioactive substances a...

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Radioactive iodine: An isotope of the chemical element iodine that is radioactive. Radioa...

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Radiotherapy: The treatment of disease with ionizing radiation. Also called radiation ther...

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Rash: Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. A rash can be caused by an underlying medical c...

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Receptor: 1. In cell biology, a structure on the surface of a cell (or inside a cel...

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Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of joint...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Standard of care: 1. A diagnostic and treatment process that a clinician should fol...

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Stillbirth: The birth of a dead baby, the delivery of a fetus that has died before birth f...

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Subacute: Rather recent onset or somewhat rapid change. In contrast, acute indicates very ...

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Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Swallowing tube: Descriptive term for the esophagus. See: Esophagus.

Sweating: The act of secreting fluid from the skin by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. The...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Symptomatic: 1 With symptoms, as a symptomatic infection. 2 Characteristic o...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Synthesis: Putting together different entities to make a whole which is new and different....

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Tachycardia: A rapid heart rate, usually defined as greater than 100 beats per minute.

Taste: A perception that results from stimulation of a gustatory nerve. Taste belongs to t...

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Therapeutic: Relating to therapeutics, the branch of medicine that is concerned specifical...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Thyroid: 1. The thyroid gland. Also, pertaining to the thyroid gland. 2. A p...

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Thyroid cancer: Cancer of the gland in front of the neck that normally produces thyroid ho...

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Thyroid cartilage: The largest of the cartilages of the larynx (the voice box).

Thyroid gland: A gland that makes and stores hormones that help regulate the heart rate, b...

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Thyroid hormone: A chemical substance made by the thyroid gland for export into the bloods...

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Thyroid hormones: Chemical substances made by the thyroid gland, which is located in the...

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Thyroid scan: An image taken of a patient's thyroid gland after the patient swallows radio...

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Thyroid storm: Thyroid storm is a severe, life-threatening condition caused by an excess...

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Thyroidectomy: Surgery to remove part or all of the thyroid gland. Thyroidectomy might be ...

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Thyroiditis: Inflammation of the thyroid gland which is located in front of the neck:

...

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Thyrotropin: A hormone produced by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain in respons...

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Thyroxine: A hormone that is made by the thyroid gland and is one of the most important th...

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Tomography: The process for generating a tomogram, a two-dimensional image of a slice or s...

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Tooth: One of the structures within the mouth that allow for biting and chewing. Teeth hav...

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Toxic multinodular goiter: A condition in which the thyroid gland contains multiple lumps ...

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Trachea: A tube-like portion of the respiratory tract that connects the larynx with the br...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Tremor: An abnormal, repetitive shaking movement of the body. Tremors have many causes and...

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Triiodothyronine: A hormone that is made by the thyroid gland. Triiodothyronine has three ...

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Trimester: In obstetrics, one of the three divisions of three months each during pregnancy...

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TSH: Thyroid stimulating hormone.

TSH receptor: The receptor for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which is also called thy...

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TSI: Thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin.

Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be ...

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Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves. Ultra-sound waves can be bounced off tissues by us...

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Vitamins: The word "vitamin" was coined in 1911 by the Warsaw-born biochemist Casimir Funk...

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Voice box: The voice box, or larynx, is the portion of the respiratory (breathing) tract ...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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White blood cell: One of the cells the body makes to help fight infections. There are seve...

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White blood cell count (leukocyte count): The number of white blood cells (WBCs) in the b...

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