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Hyperthyroidism: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What is hyperthyroidism?

Thyroid problems are common all over the world. Hyperthyroidism being one of the problems occurs when the thyroid produces too much of ‘Thyroxine’. The pituitary gland and the hypothalamus gland both contribute to controlling Thyroid gland and its functions by secreting TSH and TRH hormones. So, when thyroid production is deficient, these two glands release TSH and TRH which further stimulates the release of more of thyroid gland’s hormones.

What Causes Hyperthyroidism?

  • Graves Disease: While the cause of this disorder is unknown, people who smoke risks themselves in accumulating this disease. Graves disease is an autoimmune disease, it persuades your thyroid gland to produce more of its hormone. It is more common in women between the ages of 30-50 years. The immune system basically gives the thyroid gland ‘untrue’ signals.
  • Excessive Iodine intake: While some people might take iodine supplements thinking of it as helping the body and the thyroid gland to function better, while excessive thyroid intake may not affect many, it can also induce hyperthyroidism.
  • Thyroiditis: This condition causes leakage of the stored hormones in the Thyroid gland because of inflammation. This causes the hormone to merge in the bloodstream, causing an increase in the hormone.
  • Thyroid nodules: These are just lumps filled with fluid (it can also be not filled with fluid). These nodules increase the production of Thyroxine production. It causes of developing these nodules have not been known, but it can also be a genetic disorder.

Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism:

The symptoms of hyperthyroidism that you need to watch out for:

  • Excess sweating
  • Elevated Heart rate
  • Increased appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Hair loss
  • Unwanted weight loss
  • Goiter
  • Diarrhea
  • Menstruation in female
  • Bulgy or Puffy Eyes

Can hyperthyroidism be cured? Or is it a lifetime disorder?

Good news: no, it is not a lifetime disorder. But as I have said before, it requires patience and the right treatment for it go away completely. Your hormone levels will not become normal just in a matter of a few weeks or months, even with proper management and medications. It will take several years. What you need to know is that without any treatment it can also turn out to be fatal, resulting in conditions like Thyroid storms (in which an individual might heart rate and metabolic rate can increase dangerously). So it’s always advisable to reach out to your doctor if you notice any symptoms, you mustn’t do take any iodine supplements (or any medicine for that matter) without any prescriptions.

Diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism

  • When you go to a doctor for hyperthyroidism diagnosis, the first thing is to get a full medical history and physical test done. This will help with understanding basic symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
  • Doctors will take a sample of blood for blood testing to check for increased levels of TSH hormone
  • Check for cholesterol levels– knowing well that a low cholesterol level indicates a faster basal metabolic rate, indicating the probability of Hyperthyroidism.
  • Thyroid Test– in this test, there will be a small amount of radioactive iodine injected into your bloodstream. Your thyroid absorbs it, and a special camera takes pictures of the gland to look for nodules or other signs of problems.
  • Ultrasound– A device called a transducer is run over your neck. It uses sound waves to create images of your thyroid. This will help determine your thyroid condition.

Treatment of Hyperthyroidism

Treatment for hyperthyroidism will vary based on different factor like age, overall health, and severity of the condition. Some of the most common treatment are:

  • Radioactive Iodine: when you swallow a small amount of radioactive iodine, the overactive thyroid cells absorb it, and it destroys them. This makes your levels of thyroid hormone go down. You might need to have this treatment more than once. It may also cause hypothyroidism.
  • Antithyroid Drugs: the most common drugs prescribed for hyperthyroidism are Methimazole (Tapazole) and propylthiouracil (PTU) which blocks your thyroid from making too many hormones. These drugs come with side effects such as allergic reactions like rash or itching. These drugs can also cause your body to make fewer white blood cells in rare cases. This makes you more likely to get infections. If you have symptoms like yellow skin or eyes, fatigue, or pain in your belly, immediately visit your doctor as this might also be side effects of the drugs.
  • Surgery: your doctor may remove all or part of your thyroid if the medications aren’t going to be good enough for you. This is called Thyroidectomy. It is advised to take Antithyroid medicines before the surgery to prevent complications.

To completely cure yourself of hyperthyroidism will depend on the severity of the condition. But most importantly, one must remember that diet, lifestyle and exercise will help you deal with the symptoms and may help cure hyperthyroid faster.

Since, the treatment of hyperthyroidism can cause one to develop hypothyroidism, we at &Me have launched &Me ThyroDiet, Thyroid Tea specifically designed for hypothyroidism. Start your Thyroid diet with &Me to get the tips from our Nutritionist, also track it on a daily basis. &Me Thyroid Tea provides the right nutrition to help Thyroid gland naturally produce required levels of T3/T4 (thyroid hormones) in the body. Helps in weight loss.

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