Tags: Thyroid Disorders | thyroid | disease | long-term | effects | hyperthyroidism

Thyroid Disease: Long-Term Effects of Hyperthyroidism

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Feb 2016 06:43 PM

Hyperthyroidism effects can be serious, causing long-term health complications for patients who go without treatment.

Hyperthyroidism results when the body produces too many thyroid hormones. This elevates the body’s metabolic rate, causing symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, inability to sleep, and hand tremors, according to Healthline. Hyperthyroidism doesn't always worsen without treatment, but long-term effects of nontreatment should be considered.

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Some of the most serious effects of hyperthyroidism impact the heart’s function. Rapid heart rate, atrial fibrillation (which occurs when the heart beat is abnormal), and congestive heart failure (when the body is unable to circulate the blood) may occur, according to the Mayo Clinic. Treatment may reverse the conditions, though.

Other cardiovascular diseases linked to long-term effects of hyperthyroidism include hypertension and cardiac arrest, Endocrine Web reported.

Since too many hormones may harm the body’s ability to process calcium and phosphate into the bones, patients may develop osteoporosis, which is characterized by weak and brittle bones. Osteoporosis puts individuals at a greater risk for fracture.

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Patients with hyperthyroidism can develop Graves' Disease, which causes visual and eye problems. Without treatment, the disorder worsens. "People with Graves' ophthalmopathy develop eye problems, including bulging, red or swollen eyes, sensitivity to light, and blurring or double vision. Untreated, severe eye problems can lead to vision loss," says the Mayo Clinic. Graves’ disease may even cause problems on the skin, typically around the shins and feet, including swelling and redness.

A sudden intensification of hyperthyroidism symptoms is known as thyrotoxic crisis or thyroid storm. It’s typically brought on by some sort of trigger, such as infection, pregnancy, or damage to the thyroid gland. Patients may experience fever, a fast heartbeat, or delirium, according to the Mayo Clinic. Those who experience thyrotoxic crisis should seek medical help immediately.

The National Center for Biotechnological Information notes long-term use of some thyroid medications may lead to an increased risk of cancer, according to some studies, though the NCBI said the rise may also be attributed to the thyroid disease itself.

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Hyperthyroidism effects can be serious, causing long-term health complications for patients who go without treatment.
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Tuesday, 16 Feb 2016 06:43 PM
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