An overview of thyroid disorders and their management

  • Gustav Schellack
  • Natalie Schellack Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
Keywords: Thyroid gland, thyroxine, triiodothyronine, iodide, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, goitre, thyroid storm, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, exophthalmos, cretinism, myxoedema


Disorders of the thyroid gland are frequently encountered in the clinical practice setting and typically fall into one of two categories, namely hypothyroidism (i.e. deficient levels of circulating thyroid hormone), or hyperthyroidism (or thyrotoxicosis) that involves abnormally high levels of thyroid hormone in the blood stream. This article provides a high-level overview of thyroid function, the two major pathophysiological abnormalities of the thyroid gland, as well as treatment modalities aimed at managing patients with thyroid pathology. In addition, a brief description of two major autoimmune conditions of the thyroid gland, namely Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, is also provided.

Author Biographies

Gustav Schellack
BCur, Adv Univ Dipl Nurs Sc (HSM), Hons BSc (Pharmacology) Clinical research specialist in the pharmaceutical industry
Natalie Schellack, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
BCur, BPharm, PhD (Pharmacy) Associate Professor Department of Pharmacy Faculty of Health Sciences Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University