Hyperthyroidism – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What is hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition of over-producing thyroid harmone. The thyroid is a little butterfly-like gland at the base of the neck.

It produces tetraiodothyronine or thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), both major hormones that regulate the energy consumption of your cells. This thyroid gland controls your metabolism through the release of these hormones.

Hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid generates too much T4, T3, or both. Diagnosing the overactive thyroid and treating the root cause can ease symptoms and prevent complications.

What causes hyperthyroidism?

There are a wide range of conditions that can cause hyperthyroidism. Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder, is the leading cause of hyperthyroidism. It causes antibodies to stimulate thyroid production or secrete too many hormones.

Graves’ disease is more common among females than males. It tends to function in families, so it has a genetic connection. You should tell your physician if there are any family members or family members with this disease.

Other factors of hyperthyroidism are:

  • Too much iodine, the main component of T4 and T3.
  • thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid) resulting in leakage of T4 and T3 from the gland.
  • ovary or testicular tumors.
  • benign tumours in the thyroid or pituitary gland.
  • Too much tetraiodothyronine from food supplements and medications.

What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

Large quantities of T4, T3, or both can cause excessive metabolism. This is referred to as hypermetabolic status. In a hypermetabolic state, you may experience rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and hand tremors (hand shakes). You can also become excessively sweaty and develop a bit of heat tolerance. Hyperthyroidism may result in more frequent stool, weight loss and irregular menstrual cycles in women.

Outwardly, the thyroid gland itself may swell into a goitre, which may be on both sides or unilaterally. Your eyes can also appear rather prominent, which is a sign of exophthalmia (swelling of the eyes), a condition that is associated with Graves’ disease.

Other symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism include:

  • fast and irregular heart rhythm.
  • nervousness and moodiness,
  • Irritability or restlessness

Hyperthyroidism may also be associated with atrial fibrillation, a dangerous arrhythmia (irregular pulse) that may lead to stroke, as well congestive heart failure.

How do doctors diagnose hyperthyroidism?

The first stage of diagnosis involves obtaining a complete medical history and physical examination. This may be indicative of all these common signs of hyperthyroidism:

Additional tests can be carried out to further assess your diagnosis. The tests consist of:

Cholesterol test

It may be necessary for your doctor to check your cholesterol levels. Low cholesterol may be a sign of a rise in the metabolic rate in which your body burns cholesterol quickly.

T4, free T4, T3

These tests measure how much thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) are in your blood.

Thyroid stimulating hormone level test

Thyroid hormone (TSH) is secreted by the pituitary gland hormone which stimulates the thyroid gland to make hormones. If thyroid hormone levels are normal or high, TSH should be less. An abnormally decreased TSH may be the first sign of hyperthyroidism.

Triglyceride test

You can also check your triglyceride level. Similar to low cholesterol, low triglyceride levels can also be a sign of increased metabolic rate.

Thyroid scan and uptake

This allows your physician to see whether your thyroid is hyperactive. in particular, it may indicate whether the entire thyroid or only one area of the gland is responsible for the hyperactivity.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound can measure the size of the whole thyroid gland, along with all the masses inside. Doctors may also use ultrasound to see if a mass is solid or cystic.

CT or MRI scans

A computed tomography or an MRI may show whether a pituitary tumour is present behind the condition.

How to treat hyperthyroidism

Medication

Antithyroid drugs, such as methimazole (Tapazole), carbimazole, keep the thyroid from producing hormones. They’re the standard treatment.

Radioactive iodine

The radioactivity iodine is given to over 70 percent of U.S. adults affected by hyperthyroidism. Based on the American Thyroid Association, It succeeds in destroying the cells that produce hormones.

Common side effects include dry mouth, dry eyesight, sore throat, swelling of the salivary gland and changes in taste. Precautions may be necessary for some time after treatment to prevent the spread of radiation to other people.

Surgery

A section or entire thyroid gland can be removed by surgery. Next, you will need to take supplemental thyroid hormones to prevent hypothyroidism, This occurs when you have an under-active thyroid that secretes a very small amount of hormone. In addition, beta blockers such as propranolol (Inderal) can help control your fast heartbeat, sweating, anxiety, and high blood pressure. Most people react very well with this treatment.

What you can do to improve symptoms

Good nutrition, with a goal on sodium and calcium is needed, especially to prevent hyperthyroidism. Take help from your physician to make healthy instructions for your diet, nutritional supplements and exercise.

Hyperthyroidism may also lead to weaker and thinner bones, which may result in osteoporosis. Taking vitamin D and calcium supplementation during and after treatment may help strengthen or harden your bones. Your doctor may ask you what amount of vitamin D and calcium you can take per day.

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