Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck that regulates metabolism. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland malfunctions and overproduces the hormone thyroxine. This condition can make patients suddenly lose weight, as they burn calories extremely fast.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
In addition to weight loss, symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
• Heat intolerance
• Fast heart rate
• Heart palpitations
• Shortness of breath
• Muscle loss
• Irregular or absent menstrual cycle in women
A number of thyroid conditions can cause hyperthyroidism, including toxic adenoma, Plummer’s disease and inflammatory thyroiditis. There are three types of inflammatory thyroiditis: one that occurs right after pregnancy, silent thyroiditis (painless) and subacute thyroiditis (very painful). One of the most common causes of hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease, an autoimmune disease. If you have thyroid disease in the family, whether that's an overactive thyroid or an underactive thyroid, you have an increased risk of developing Graves' disease.
Hyperthyroidism can lead to a number of health complications, including heart disease, eye problems, brittle bones and swollen skin. It’s important to consult with your primary care provider or an endocrinologist if you think you might have hyperthyroidism. Your physician will do a physical exam and blood tests to diagnose hyperthyroidism. If you do have hyperthyroidism, your doctor may do further testing such as a radio iodine uptake test or a thyroid scan to determine why your thyroid is overactive.
Treatments for hyperthyroidism include:
• Antithyroid medication, which prevents the thyroid from producing excess amounts of T4 and T3 hormones
• Radioactive iodine, which works by gradually destroying the thyroid to reduce hyperthyroid symptoms
• Thyroidectomy, which is total or partial surgical removal of the thyroid
Your primary care provider or endocrinologist can help you understand the benefits, risks and side effects of each thyroid treatment.
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Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include heat intolerance, fast heart rate, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, muscle loss, tremors, sweating and irregular or absent menstrual cycle in women.
A number of thyroid conditions can cause hyperthyroidism, including toxic adenoma, Plummer’s disease and inflammatory thyroiditis.
There are three types of inflammatory thyroiditis: one that occurs right after pregnancy, silent thyroiditis (painless) and subacute thyroiditis (very painful).
One of the most common causes of hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease, an autoimmune disease. If you have thyroid disease in the family, whether that's an overactive thyroid or an underactive thyroid, you have an increased risk of developing Graves' disease.
Treatments for hyperthyroidism include antithyroid medication, radioactive iodine and thyroidectomy.
Adhering to your medications, prescribed exercises or lifestyle changes (such as dietary changes, smoking cessation, reduced alcohol consumption, etc.) is essential to improving health outcomes successfully. Compliance to any prescribed treatment is the number one thing you can do to ensure positive changes and optimal treatment outcomes.
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much of a hormone called thyroxine. It can accelerate your body's metabolism and cause weight loss, sweating, irregular heartbeat and more. Hyperthyroidism treatment involves medications, radioactive iodine, or surgery. Get the answers you need to take control of your health from our up-to-date, complementary hyperthyroidism resources.