Hyperthyroidism is a health disorder that results from an overactive thyroid gland that produce more thyroid hormones than the body requires. Thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating body cells metabolism, and this condition leads to a speed-up of body activities. The condition can, however, be treated through surgery, medication or ablation.
Just like any other health disorder, Hyperthyroidism has its close symptoms, but some are similar to those of other disorders. While some women experience irregular menstrual cycles, some men tend to have enlarged breasts. Hyperthyroidism symptoms differ from one person to the other but some of the most common include;
- excessive sweating
- weight loss
- decreased concentration
- scant menstrual flow in women
- heat intolerance
- rapid heart rate
- increased bowel movements
- shaking &; trembling
- soft falling hair
- red, itchy skin and
- difficulties when breathing
If not treated early, Hyperthyroidism might lead to heart failure or even loss of life, more so in elderly people.
Apart from being inherited, Hyperthyroidism can be caused by a number of factors. It affects people of any age, but children are rarely affected. In most cases, women are at a higher risk of getting Hyperthyroidism than men, but research has not yet given an explanation of this perception. The most common cause of Hyperthyroidism is the Graves’ disease that triggers thyroid glands to produce more thyroid hormone. Other causes contributing to Hyperthyroidism include;
- Thyroid nodules
- eating food rich in iodine
- use of medicine with iodine
There are other causes not mentioned above, and one should inform a doctor in the event of Hyperthyroidism symptoms.
Different diagnostic methods can be used to check if a person is suffering from Hyperthyroidism, but the signs and symptoms are the key indicators. If you suspect an overactive thyroid, inform your doctor immediately for appropriate action to be taken. Disclose every symptom you are experiencing to your health care provider. The doctor also expects you to give information regarding your health history and if there have been Hyperthyroidism in your family. Such information is accompanied by a lab test to confirm Hyperthyroidism presence. A serology test can be used to measure the amount of antibodies associated with Hyperthyroidism. A thyroid scan, ultrasound of the thyroid and other lab tests measuring thyroid hormones and TSH levels are applicable to identify the presence of Hyperthyroidism.
Whether the symptoms of Hyperthyroidism are bothering you or not, it is recommended you seek the help of a doctor before the condition worsens. The mode of treatment will be chosen depending on your age, the cause of Hyperthyroidism, other medications you might be undergoing and the amount of thyroid hormone being produced. The common treatment approaches include surgery, Antithyroid medicines and radioactive iodine treatment. Antithyroid medicines are recommended for people below the age of 50 and have mild hyperthyroidism. Radioactive iodine, on the other hand, is recommended for patients above 50 years of age and where thyroid glands are producing too much of thyroid hormone. Surgery is mostly used on patients whose glands are too big, interfering with swallowing and breathing.