Hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid is when the thyroid glands produce excess hormone known as thyroxine. This can increase the metabolism of the body which can cause weight loss, rapid or irregular heartbeats, irritability and sweating in patients. Another common symptom of this disorder is an enlarged thyroid gland at the base of the neck.
HOW IS HYPERTHYROIDISM DIAGNOSED?
Endocrinologist may conduct a complete physical examination and also evaluate your symptoms. Your family history also plays an important role in diagnosis. Other diagnostic tests for confirming Hyperthyroidism are: blood tests, radioiodine uptake test and thyroid scan
HOW IS HYPERTHYROIDISM TREATED?
Treatment method for Hyperthyroidism depends on the age and physical condition. Common treatment methods are: Radioactive iodine, antithyroid medication and beta blockers. Surgery may be performed for removing most of the thyroid gland in case above methods don't work
DID YOU KNOW?
Graves' disease an autoimmune disorder is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism.
The butterfly shaped gland at the base of your throat has a very important role to play in your overall health. Hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland produces or secretes excessive amounts of the thyroid hormone. This rate of secretion is controlled by the pituitary gland in your brain. Therefore, when this thyroid gland is overactive, it results in hyperthyroidism.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include the following:
• Anxiety, nervousness, and irritability
• Frequent, loose bowel movements
• Difficulty sleeping
• Double vision
• Eyes that bulge out (in patients with Graves' disease)
• Hair changes, including brittle hair, thinning hair, and hair loss from scalp
• Irregular heart beat (arrhythmia), especially in older adults
• Menstrual cycle changes, including lighter bleeding and less frequent periods
• Muscle weakness, especially in the thighs and upper arms
• Rapid fingernail growth
• Rapid heartbeat, that is usually over 100 beats per minute
• Shaky hands
• Thinning skin
This sudden speeding up of hormone secretion puts the entire body system in a fix as it tries to keep up with the increased energy and metabolism levels. It is this sudden increase in metabolism that leads to unnatural weight loss, irregular heartbeat, nervousness and sweating.
There are a number of reasons for why this condition may develop – Graves’ disease, thyroiditis, nodules in the thyroid, etc.
Despite the symptoms sounding dangerous or life-threatening, it is quite short-term when diagnosed in time and treated properly. Hyperthyroidism tends to become serious if ignored over long periods of time. Eye problems, osteoporosis, red, swollen skin and heart issues may develop as complications to hyperthyroidism. Doctors usually prescribe anti-thyroid medications and radioactive iodine to gradually slow down the production of the thyroid hormones.
Often, older adults that are aged don’t show definite symptoms of hyperthyroidism as symptoms like increased heart rate, heat intolerance can be seen ordinarily due to their advanced age anyway. If they’re on beta blockers that treat high blood pressure, the symptoms may be masked even more.
It is important to communicate very clearly to your doctor as to how you’ve been feeling; as such symptoms can often be confused with other medical conditions. He would then carry out the required blood tests, physical exams and scan to diagnose your condition. Take care of yourself at home by using simple home remedies like getting enough exercise and meditating daily.
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