The thyroid is one of the glands in the bodythat is very important for the functioning of the whole body. It is located inthe neck and produces two hormones thyroxine and triidotyroxine. Hyperthyroidism, commonly known as overactivethyroid is the name given to the disorder in which the thyroid gland increasingly produces the hormone tyroxine. Hyperthyroidism is aserious condition because it affects the whole metabolism by accelerating it. This disorder is more common in women than inmen.
Causes and symptoms of hyperthyroidism
The main causes of hyperthyroidism are Graves’disease, toxic nodular goiter, thyroiditis or the inflamed thyroid gland tumorof the pituitary gland and some medications that contain much iodine.
Hyperthyroidism can be very hard to diagnose becauseit has symptoms that are common for other diseases as well. The most frequentsymptoms are unexplained loss of the weight even though the person has good and even increased appetite,nervousness, anxiety, irritability as well as tremor, sweating, sleeplessness, fatigueand muscle weakness. Furthermore, the person who suffers from hyperthyroidismmay have some problems with the heart, such as tachycardia, arrhythmia andheart palpitations. Moreover an enlarged thyroid gland is also one of thewarning signs of this condition. There are cases when changes in menstrual andbowel patterns also appear.
Complications of hyperthyroidism
If the person notices some of the signs above-mentioned, it is important to visit the doctor. After diagnosing it, the doctorwould prescribe some anti-thyroid drugs and radioactive iodine, which areeffective in decreasing the production of tyroxine. There are even cases whenit is necessary to remove the part of the thyroid gland by a surgery. Hyperthyroidism must be treated on time, inorder to avoid serious complications that can be induced by this disease, suchas heart problems, brittle bones, red swollen skin, eye problems, and thyrotoxiccrisis.
Hyperthyroidism can cause some heart problemsthat are considered to be very serious if they are not treated. These problemsinclude rapid heart rate, atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure. Osteoporosis is the medical term for the weakand brittle bones. This condition may also be one of the consequences of the untreatedhyperthyroidism because due to increased level of tyroxine bones cannot absorb enoughcalcium. In some cases Graves’ ophthalmopathy causessome problems with eyes, such as blurred or double vision, red or swollen eyes,and sensitivity to light. Graves’ disease can lead to Graves’ dermopathy, so the skin becomes red and swollen, especially on the shins and feet. Thyrotoxic crisis is the condition when the symptomsare abruptly intensified. This state is characterized by fever rapid pulse and even delirium.