The thyroid gland regulates crucial metabolic functions such as growth and energy expenditure. When the thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine, patients get hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). The body's metabolism may speed up due to hyperthyroidism, resulting in unexpected weight loss and a rapid or erratic pulse. There are several therapies for hyperthyroidism. Medical professionals use radioactive iodine and antithyroid drugs to reduce the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Surgery to remove all or a portion of the thyroid gland may be required as part of hyperthyroidism therapy. Even though hyperthyroidism can be dangerous if ignored, once it has been identified and treated, most patients recover successfully.
Types of hyperthyroidism
There are three types of hyperthyroidism:
- Graves' disease
- Toxic nodular goiter or multinodular goiter
Common symptoms include:
- Nervousness, anxiety, or crankiness
- Mood swings
- Changes in menstrual cycle
- Thinning of skin
- Sensitivity to heat
- Losing weight suddenly
- A swollen thyroid
- Fast or uneven heartbeat or palpitations
- Shaking in your hands and fingers
- Sleep disorders
- Fine, brittle hair
- Having unusual bowel movements
When to see a doctor?
Consult a doctor if you observe hyperthyroidism symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, a fast heartbeat, unusual perspiration, neck swelling, etc. See your doctor frequently so that they can monitor your health if you've had hyperthyroidism treatment in the past or are now receiving therapy for it.
Causes of hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism has several causes. These include:
It is an autoimmune condition and the most frequent cause of hyperthyroidism. When the immune system over stimulates the thyroid gland, it makes too many thyroid hormones.
Toxic nodular goitre or multinodular goiter
The thyroid gland's nodules, or lumps, can become overactive and produce an excess of thyroid hormones. It is unclear what triggers this condition.
It is inflammation of the thyroid gland and occurs when the gland gets irritated, resulting in too much thyroid hormone leaking out of the damaged thyroid and into the blood circulation.
Other reasons for hyperthyroidism are:
- Using high doses of thyroid hormone medications to cure hypothyroidism.
- Eating a diet that is too high in iodine.
- Having an overactive thyroid gland due to a non-cancerous (benign) pituitary tumor.
Hyperthyroidism Risk factors
People can be more vulnerable to getting hyperthyroidism if they:
- Have thyroid disease running in their family
- Had thyroid surgery or goiter or other thyroid issues
- Are over 60 years old
- Have had a baby or been pregnant within the previous six months
- Has a chronic condition, such as type 1 diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency, or pernicious anemia.
- Are using too many iodine-containing vitamins or medications
- Having excessively treated hypothyroidism
Numerous complications might result from hyperthyroidism:
Heart problems are among the most severe effects of hyperthyroidism. These include a fast heartbeat, atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disease that raises the risk of stroke, and congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to supply your body adequately.
Weak, fragile bones can also result from uncontrolled hyperthyroidism (osteoporosis). An excess of thyroid hormone hampers the body's capacity to integrate calcium into the bones.
People with Graves' ophthalmopathy experience visual issues such as double or blurred vision, bulging, red or inflamed eyes, and light sensitivity. Vision loss may result from serious eye conditions that go untreated.
Red, swollen skin
People who have Graves' disease can occasionally develop Graves' dermopathy. Skin irritation results in redness and swelling, frequently on the feet and shins.
In the case of hyperthyroidism, patients risk developing a thyrotoxic crisis, including a fever, a fast heartbeat, and even delirium. Seek medical attention right away if this develops.
How is hyperthyroidism diagnosed?
A swollen thyroid, a rapid pulse, wet skin, and trembling hands or fingers are just a few of the symptoms that the doctor will look out for. The hyperthyroidism tests include:
Thyroid profile test
It is a blood test to estimate the levels of thyroid hormones, including Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Total triiodothyronine (T3) and Total tetraiodothyronine/thyroxine (T4) in the bloodstream. It monitors the function of the thyroid gland.
The radioactive iodine is injected into the bloodstream in a very small quantity by a healthcare technician. It is absorbed by the thyroid gland, which is examined using a special camera to examine nodules or other signs of abnormalities.
A scanner is passed over the neck by a physician, and it visualizes the thyroid gland via sound waves to identify any abnormalities.
Radioactive iodine uptake test
A small quantity of radioactive iodine is ingested. How much iodine accumulates in the thyroid is determined with a gamma probe. If this absorption is high, patients likely have Graves' disease or thyroid nodules.
Treatment of hyperthyroidism
There are various methods to cure hyperthyroidism. The optimal choice depends on age, general health, the reason for the disease, and its severity. The hyperthyroidism treatments include:
You ingest a tablet or liquid containing radioactive iodine. The hyperactive thyroid cells are eliminated once they enter the bloodstream, and the body's thyroid hormone levels drop. Within 3 to 6 months, symptoms often start to fade.
These medications instruct the thyroid to create fewer hormones. As the hormone levels normalize, symptoms start to improve in 6 to 12 weeks. For women who are expecting or nursing, this is a preferable choice. Discuss potential side effects with the doctor.
A thyroidectomy is a procedure in which most of the thyroid gland is removed. You'll probably get hypothyroidism after surgery, and you can take thyroid supplements to get your hormone levels back to normal.
These medications lower anxiety and tremors while lowering heart rate, and they may be used with other types of therapy. As soon as the thyroid levels are back to normal, you should be able to stop taking them.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
This new method of treating thyroid nodules involving radiofrequency ablation (RFA), it causes tissue necrosis and nodule shrinking. Minimally invasive surgery is used to treat benign (non-cancerous) thyroid nodules. RFA is typically advised for patients with no positive results from drugs or surgery
Hyperthyroidism Dos and Don’ts
Did you realize that 15,000 women yearly have thyroid cancer? The thyroid affects 1 in 1000 males similarly. Thyroid patients should consider several other factors besides food monitoring.
|Regular thyroid monitoring||Do smoking or drink alcohol|
|Drink plenty of water.||Consume too much sugar and caffeine|
|Consume foods high in antioxidants, tyrosine, and selenium.||Eat foods containing excessive gluten|
|Limit or avoid soy-containing foods.||Avoid oily foods|
|Consume iodine in proper amounts||Avoid self medication|
The thyroid gland regulates the body's metabolism. So when there is thyroid dysfunction, the whole body struggles. Depression, weight gain, exhaustion, low body temperature, hair loss, poor light sensitivity, and lack of energy are all possible symptoms of thyroid disease.
Precautions and self-care will help you fight the condition positively and improve your quality of life.
Hyperthyroidism Care at Medicover Hospitals
At Medicover hospitals, we have the best team of doctors and endocrinologists who collaborate to deliver hyperthyroidism treatment with maximum accuracy. Our highly experienced medical staff treat hyperthyroidism and its symptoms using the most up-to-date healthcare techniques, and technology. We use a multidisciplinary approach to treat hyperthyroidism to give patients complete treatment and respond to their medical requirements for a quicker and more lasting recovery.