Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too many hormones critical for the normal functioning of the body. This can lead to a faster metabolism and even unintentional weight loss. The thyroid gland mainly produces tetraiodothyronine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which are hormones responsible for how our cells use energy. These hormones also work to regulate our metabolism, too.
In hyperthyroidism, T4, T3, or both are overproduced, which can create a slew of symptoms. In order to prevent complications related to an overactive thyroid, an early diagnosis is essential as treatment options are available to help regulate the thyroid.
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Grave’s disease, which is an autoimmune condition. Grave’s disease is found to be more common in women than men, so being a female puts you at higher risk for hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism has also been found to run in families, suggesting a possible genetic link. Therefore, if you know of close relatives with a thyroid condition, speak with your doctor to have yours checked.
Other causes of hyperthyroidism are excess iodine, inflammation of the thyroid, tumors of the ovaries or testes, benign tumors on the thyroid gland, and large amounts of tetraiodothyronine taken through supplements or medications.
To spot if you have an overactive thyroid, pay close attention to any of the following signs and symptoms:
Hyperthyroidism is a treatable condition, but if left untreated it can result in a slew of complications that can put your health at risk. Some of those complications associated with hyperthyroidism are arrhythmia (which can lead to atrial fibrillation), cardiac dilation, congestive heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest, and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Another complication of hyperthyroidism is osteoporosis, as over time hyperthyroidism causes calcium and phosphate to be pulled from the bones.
There are many different treatment options when it comes to hyperthyroidism. For starters, radioactive iodine can be taken orally, which gets absorbed by the thyroid gland. Over time, this causes the thyroid to slow down, meaning you may require medication for hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
Anti-thyroid medications, too, can be prescribed to reduce symptoms and prevent the thyroid from overproducing hormones. Beta blockers are another form of medication for hyperthyroidism commonly prescribed to treat hypertension. Although beta blockers won’t slow down your thyroid, they can help with cardiac-related symptoms.
Lastly, surgery may be required where the thyroid is removed, meaning you will require lifelong treatment as your body will no longer have the thyroid to produce crucial hormones.
Other methods of treatment involve treating Grave’s disease is that is the cause. This can be done through orbital decompression surgery, which removes the bone between the eyes in order to restore them back to normal, or eye muscle surgery by cutting affected muscles.
Along with traditional medical treatments, home remedies also can help your condition of hyperthyroidism and promote overall wellbeing. Hyperthyroidism home remedies and lifestyle changes include:
Working closely with your doctor can help you create a personalized treatment plan for hyperthyroidism in order to reduce your risk of complications.
A link has been found between overactive thyroid and breast cancer whereby women who have hyperthyroidism have been found to have an increased risk of breast cancer. According to researchers, the risk is 11 percent higher, compared to women with normal functioning thyroids. Continue reading…
Grave’s disease increases the risk of hyperthyroidism and goiters. Grave’s disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism – a condition in which the thyroid overproduces hormones that can have negative consequences on the body, such as speeding up the metabolism, sudden weight loss, and an irregular heartbeat. Continue reading…