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The thyroid is a small gland that sits in the middle of your lower neck. It produces hormones that are released into your bloodstream to control your metabolism.

Anyone of any age can get thyroid disease, but women are five to eight times more likely than men to have it.

Relatively simple tests will identify if you have a problem. You can have either an underactive or overactive thyroid, which both cause many symptoms that make your life difficult. Both problems can be treated easily with drugs or, in rare cases, a simple operation to remove part or the whole of the gland.

Why you might need it

Thyroid disorders affect around one in 20 people in the UK. (source: British Thyroid Foundation). Overactive thyroid (known as hyperthyroidism) is a relatively common problem when you have too much thyroid hormone in your body. It has various causes including:

  • Graves' disease – an autoimmune condition that runs in the family and can happen at any age, although it is most common in women aged 20 to 40
  • thyroid nodules – lumps that develop in the gland
  • iodine supplements – taking too many of these can trigger the gland to produce too many hormones
  • Amiodarone – a type of medication that helps you control an irregular heartbeat
  • follicular thyroid cancer – in rare cases, you may develop an overactive thyroid as a result of this form of cancer.

The symptoms of an overactive thyroid include:

  • hyperactivity
  • mood swings – such as anxiety, irritability and nervousness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • fatigue
  • needing to go the toilet more frequently
  • unexplained or unexpected weight loss
  • infrequent or light periods, or periods stopping altogether
  • infertility
  • loss of interest in sex. (source: NHS Choices)

Underactive thyroid (known as hypothyroidism) means your thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones. It's most often caused by your immune system attacking the gland and damaging it, or from damage that happens as a result of other drug treatments. Other less common causes include a lack of dietary iodine, and sometimes you are just born with an underactive thyroid.

The symptoms include:

  • tiredness
  • weight gain
  • depression
  • constipation
  • being sensitive to the cold
  • dry skin and hair
  • muscle aches.

Blood tests are the simplest way to test your thyroid function. They can also be used to monitor the effects of treatment.

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care.

All of our nurses are of the highest standard and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.

Before your treatment

You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.

We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.

Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

The procedure

We understand that having tests can often be a time of anxiety and worry, but our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you, holding your hand, every step of the way.

The thyroid tests are relatively straightforward and painless. They involve your specialist taking a small blood sample for analysis in our laboratories.

Aftercare

These tests are carried out as an outpatient case so you will be able to go home straight after or as soon as you feel comfortable.


Pain relief

These tests are painless. You might feel some slight discomfort but you shouldn’t need any pain relief medication.


Recovery time

When we discharge you we'll talk to you about an appointment to see your specialist again to discuss the test results.

You should be able to return to work immediately.


Looking after you

Even once you’ve left hospital, we’re still here for you. Your specialist is likely to want to see you after your tests results become available, a follow up appointment will be made for you. We take an integrated approach so we can organise any other care that you may need should your test results show something abnormal.

If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.

Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

How much does it cost?

A fixed price for this treatment may be available on enquiry and following an initial consultation.

You can trust Spire Roding Hospital to provide you with a single, fixed price (1) so there are no surprises. And, through our carefully chosen partner (2) you can even be considered for interest free finance.

We’re here to help you with making these important choices, so you’re then free to concentrate on your treatment and on getting back to being you.

(1) Important: Please read Spire’s terms and conditions for full details of what’s included and excluded in your fixed price* when paying for yourself.

(2) Zebra Finance Ltd trading as Zebra Health Finance , Lincoln House, Stephensons Way, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, DE21 6LY. 

Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.