Thyroid disease

Thyroid disease specialists with Duke’s nationally ranked endocrinology program spend time understanding your thyroid blood levels so they can prescribe the right treatment for you. We specialize in diagnosing and treating the full range of benign thyroid disorders, including hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid like Graves' disease), hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and postpartum hypothyroidism and goiter (large thyroid).

Comprehensive care for thyroid disease and disorders

If you have thyroid disease, your thyroid gland may be overactive (producing too much thyroid hormone) or underactive (producing too little). These conditions can affect your mood, weight, energy levels, sleep patterns and ability to concentrate. 

We use convenient in-office tests to obtain a fast and accurate diagnosis. If you have thyroid nodules, we use precise diagnostic tools to determine if the nodules are cancerous, and we have experienced surgeons skilled in removing them with minimal risks and scarring. We pinpoint the cause of your abnormal thyroid levels and determine the most effective treatment for you: medication; one-time radioactive iodine therapy or when necessary, surgery. Our goal is to personalize your treatment plan to your specific needs so you feel like yourself again.

Thyroid disease at Duke: Why choose us

  • Experts in precise dosing. Our team has the experience and advanced training to make sure we get your treatment dose right, whether it’s medication to control thyroid blood levels or radioactive iodine treatments to shrink or destroy tissue in an overactive thyroid. Both of these treatment approaches require precise dosing, tailored to each patient’s needs.
  • Specialized nuclear medicine. If you have Graves' disease or hyperthyroidism, we may recommend radioactive iodine therapy to control your thyroid hormone levels. Our team includes highly trained radiologists who administer our radioactive iodine treatments. Their experience working with proper dosing for thyroid patients means safe and effective results for you.
  • Leaders in thyroid surgery. Our surgeons handle more than 600 cases every year, making us one of the busiest endocrine surgery teams in North America. We have performed thousands of successful thyroid-specific surgical procedures using open and minimal access techniques. Our less invasive options lead to less pain, fewer complications, minimal scarring and shorter hospital stays.
  • Team approach. Our endocrinologists work closely with other Duke specialists to manage and treat every aspect of your thyroid disease, to guide your care and manage your treatment plan. We work with endocrine surgeons, otolaryngologists (ear, nose, throat and neck specialists) and radiologists specially trained in nuclear medicine treatments for thyroid patients.  
  • Patient education. If your doctor prescribes hormone replacement therapy for hypothyroidism, we work closely with you to make sure you understand how your thyroid medication works. When and what you eat, what supplements you take and even what time you take your medication can impact its effectiveness. We give you step-by-step directions before you leave our office and closely follow how your body reacts to the medication so we can make adjustments.


For most hyperthyroid patients, we recommend medication or radioactive iodine treatments to manage thyroid disease. If these therapies fail, surgery is a good option. You may do better with surgery than with medicine or radioactive iodine. We offer:


Your doctor may suspect thyroid disease if you experience some of the common symptoms, such as unexplained weight loss or gain, moodiness or depression, and fatigue. In many cases, abnormal thyroid levels may turn up when your doctor orders a blood test as part of a routine physical exam. Your doctor may order one of the following tests to confirm your diagnosis.

Patient resources

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