Glossary

Autoimmune disease: A condition in which the bodies own antibodies attack itself.

Endocrinologist: A physician with an internal medicine degree who has two to three extra years of specialized training in the endocrine hormone system. This system includes the thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, the pancreas, adrenal glands, and the pituitary gland.

Euthyroid: A state of being in normal thyroid balance when the TSH and the T4 levels are both within normal ranges.

Free T4: A measure of the concentration of free thyroxine.

Free T3: A measure of the concentration of free triiodothyronine.

Goiter: An enlarged thyroid gland.

Graves’ Disease: An autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid. With this disease, your immune system attacks the thyroid and causes it to make more thyroid hormone than your body needs.

Hashimoto’s Disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis): An autoimmune disorder that can cause hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. With this disease, your immune system attacks your thyroid. The thyroid becomes damaged and can’t make enough thyroid hormones.

Hyperthyroidism: A condition in which the thyroid gland overproduces thyroid hormone.

Hypothyroidism: A condition in which the thyroid gland underproduces thyroid hormone.

Levothyroxine: This is the generic name for the synthetic T4 thyroid hormone.

Nodule: A small node or overgrowth of tissue. Nodules can be present on the thyroid.

Thyroiditis: An inflammation of the thyroid gland.

Thyroid Function Test: Blood work to measure how well your thyroid gland is working. The most common tests are the T4 test and the TSH test, T3 can be tested as well.

Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies: A marker for the presence of autoimmune thyroid disease. Tested for through blood work.

Thyroxine (T4): A hormone produced by the thyroid gland.

Triiodothironine (T3): A hormone produced by the thyroid gland.

TSH: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is secreted from the pituitary gland to stimulate the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones.