Tags: Thyroid Disorders | thyroid | disease | hyperthyroidism

Thyroid Disease: What Is Hyperthyroidism?

By    |   Friday, 12 Feb 2016 02:49 PM

The job of the thyroid gland is to regulate the body’s metabolism through the release of hormones. The thyroid disease hyperthyroidism results from an overactive thyroid.

The thyroid gland is an important part of the endocrine system. It is a small organ in the neck that uses iodine in the body to produce hormones called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) that keep the brain, heart, and muscles working properly.

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Hyperthyroidism, also called thyrotoxicosis, is a less common thyroid disease than hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. American Family Physicians says hyperthyroidism affects about 2 percent of women and 0.2 percent of men and occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much T3 and T4. As a result, bodily functions and metabolism speed up.

The American Thyroid Association lists the following symptoms of hyperthyroidism:

• Restlessness and irritability
• Heart racing
• Tremors in the hands
• Nervousness and anxiety
• Trouble with sleeping
• Increased perspiration
• Weight loss despite a robust appetite

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The ATA goes on to say that, “Since hyperthyroidism increases your metabolism, many individuals initially have a lot of energy. However, as the hyperthyroidism continues, the body tends to break down, so being tired is very common.”

According to Mayo Clinic, the most common cause of hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune disorder called Graves Disease. Other potential causes include hyper-functioning thyroid nodules and simple inflammation of the thyroid gland.

There are several different courses of treatment available for patients with hyperthyroidism, and the most appropriate one is chosen based on the patient’s age, severity of the thyroid disease, other medical conditions, and personal preference, says the ATA. Treatment can involve anti-thyroid drugs that prevent the thyroid from making too many hormones, radioactive iodine treatments, or beta-blockers. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to remove part of the thyroid gland.

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The job of the thyroid gland is to regulate the body's metabolism through the release of hormones. The thyroid disease hyperthyroidism results from an overactive thyroid.
thyroid, disease, hyperthyroidism
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2016-49-12
Friday, 12 Feb 2016 02:49 PM
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