Hyperthyroidism Causes and Symptoms
Condition in which a person has too much of thyroid hormonesin the body is known as hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis. Healthy thyroidgland is necessary for healthy metabolism of the human organism. The glandproduces and releases certain hormones, named T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4(thyroxine). Thyroxine is hormone known to regulate the growth, metabolicprocesses and digestion in the body. Heartbeats and body temperature are alsoregulated by T4.
Hyperthyroidism may be genetically predisposed, meaning thata person may inherit this condition. People using too much of thyroid hormone drugor someone using too much iodine (eating seaweed and liver in large quantities)can also experience hyperthyroidism. Other possible reasons for development ofhyperthyroidism include thyroiditis, Grave’s disease, Plummer’s disease orsome pituitary tumors.
There are many symptoms that may lead your doctor to suspectyou are suffering from hyperthyroidism. Enlarged thyroid gland or goiter is oneof the most obvious symptoms. Other physical signs of hyperthyroidism can includetrembling hands, itchiness of the skin, unexplained weight loss withincreased appetite, increase in bowel movements, diarrhea, weakness of themuscles and hair loss. Many times these patients experience heart palpitations,become extremely intolerant to the heat and sweat excessively. Some of thepatients suffering from hyperthyroidism may show eye irritation or protruding eyeballs.However, the later is present only in Grave’s disease.
People affected by this condition may also experience nervousness,irritability and different problems with memory and attention. Most patientsfeel extremely tired and suffer from insomnia.
Thyroid storm is a possible complication of Grave’s disease,set off by stress, infection, injury or even a certain surgical procedure. These patientsmay experience high fever, vomiting, rapid heart rate, hypertension, extremeirritability and delirium. In case of such complications patients must seek anurgent medical assistance.
Your doctor will decide on the treatment depending on yourage, form and severity of hyperthyroidism you are suffering from and also on someother medical conditions you might have.
Treatment options may include radioactive iodine therapy,drug treatment and surgical procedure.
In many cases doctors advise their patients to start thetreatment with medications. There are two drugs used as anti-thyroidmedications: methimazole and propylthiouracil. Sometimes, doctor may prescribean additional drug from the group of beta blockers like propranolol.
Radioactive iodine is an option when drug treatment fails to provide with results. Surgical procedures are recommended for patients with large goiter or for those who don’t want or can’t be treated with radioactive iodine. Surgery involvessurgical removal of one part or a complete thyroid gland, depending on the over-activityof the gland.