Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid hormones control the rate of many activities in your body. These include how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. All of these activities are your body's metabolism. If your thyroid is too active, it makes more thyroid hormones than your body needs. This is called hyperthyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism is more common in women, people with other thyroid problems, and those over 60 years old. Graves' disease, an autoimmune disorder, is the most common cause. Other causes include thyroid nodules, thyroiditis, consuming too much iodine, and taking too much synthetic thyroid hormone.

The symptoms can vary from person to person. They may include

  • Being nervous or irritable
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue or muscle weakness
  • Heat intolerance
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Hand tremors
  • Rapid and irregular heartbeat
  • Frequent bowel movements or diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Goiter, which is an enlarged thyroid that may cause the neck to look swollen

To diagnose hyperthyroidism, your doctor will do a physical exam, look at your symptoms, and do thyroid tests. Treatment is with medicines, radioiodine therapy, or thyroid surgery. No single treatment works for everyone.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

The following features are indicative of Hyperthyroidism:
  • sudden weight loss
  • rapid heartbeat
  • increased appetite
  • sweating
  • changes in menstrual patterns
  • increased sensitivity to heat
  • changes in bowel patterns
  • fatigue
  • muscle weakness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • skin thinning
  • brittle hair
It is possible that Hyperthyroidism shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Hyperthyroidism

The following are the most common causes of Hyperthyroidism:
  • graves' disease
  • toxic adenoma
  • plummer's disease
  • thyroiditis

Risk Factors for Hyperthyroidism

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Hyperthyroidism:
  • hereditary presence

Prevention of Hyperthyroidism

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Hyperthyroidism. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • take sufficient calcium
  • take sufficient vitamin D

Occurrence of Hyperthyroidism

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Hyperthyroidism cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Widely occurring between 500K - 1 Million cases

Common Age Group

Hyperthyroidism most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 20-50 years

Common Gender

Hyperthyroidism can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Hyperthyroidism:
  • Blood test: To measure the levels of thyroxine and TSH in the blood
  • Radio iodine uptake test: To determine how much iodine the thyroid gland has absorbed
  • Thyroid scan: To produce image of the thyroid gland on a computer screen

Doctor for Diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Hyperthyroidism:
  • Endocrinologist
  • Ophthalmologist

Complications of Hyperthyroidism if untreated

Yes, Hyperthyroidism causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Hyperthyroidism is left untreated:
  • heart problems
  • brittle bones
  • eye problems
  • thyrotoxic crisis

Procedures for Treatment of Hyperthyroidism

The following procedures are used to treat Hyperthyroidism:
  • Thyroidectomy: Removes the most of your thyroid gland

Self-care for Hyperthyroidism

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Hyperthyroidism:
  • Weight management: Reduces the risk of disease
  • Regular exercise: Regular exercise helps in keeping the thyroid levels in control

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Hyperthyroidism

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Hyperthyroidism:
  • Massage therapy: Controls the thyroid hormone release
  • Do yoga: Regulates the thyroid hormone secretion

Patient Support for Treatment of Hyperthyroidism

The following actions may help Hyperthyroidism patients:
  • Learn relaxation techniques: Helps in relaxing and achieving balance in the life

Time for Treatment of Hyperthyroidism

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Hyperthyroidism to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 3 months

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid Diseases
Thyroid Tests

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