The thyroid gland is located at the front of the neck, and from this spot it controls the body’s metabolism. This small gland makes and stores hormones, which regulate heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure. The rate at which food taken into the body is converted into energy is determined by the hormonal releases from this gland. The thyroid needs iodine from foods such as iodized salt in order to function correctly.
What is Hyperthyroidism?
When an overactive thyroid is producing excessive amounts of thyroid hormones causing various negative health affects. Hyperthyroidism is caused by a number of other conditions, medications, infectious diseases, and radiation to the neck. Typically, when someone has conditions such as Graves disease that are associated with hyperthyroidism a treating physician will recommended tests to monitor the thyroid in order to catch the issue early.
In this condition the individual will have a rapid heartbeat, and will see an increase in the rate of metabolism. Also referred to as an overactive thyroid those who have this problem if the condition is not associated with Graves disease it is treatable, and most who develop it for other reasons have no trouble controlling the symptoms.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
Some mental issues are often the first signs of this condition including restlessness, sleeping problems, nervousness, and difficulty concentrating. Those with this physical issue also commonly experience fatigue, increased sweating, hand tremor, intolerance for heat, flushing skin, weakness, and weight loss. In some cases those experiencing this condition will also develop a goiter or a visible enlarged thyroid gland. Less commonly some people will have itching sensations, high blood pressure, hair loss, and loss of menstrual periods. Rarely some will have a condition known as exophthalmos or protruding eyes. Goiters as a swollen thyroid is referred to are common, but treatable with medication.
Treatment for Overactive Thyroid
There are a number of treatments for hyperthyroidism including synthetic thyroxine which is a medication that’s identical to the hormone T(4). This medication is usually used in the cases of mild hyperthyroidism, or if there is a small goiter. For those with Grave’s disease, who are older than 50 years of age, or who have thyroid nodules or a goiter the treatment is usually radioactive iodine. Those who have thyroiditis or an inflammation of the thyroid gland are typically not given this type of mediation, but rather given medications to reduce the action of the over reaction of the immune system.
Signs Indicating Treatment is Needed
Many people have this condition for some time before seeking treatment because the first symptoms can appear as related to stress, tiredness, or signs of another condition. It’s recommended to seek a doctor’s opinion if there is combination of symptoms or a feeling of a racing heartbeat, sweating, and tremors for no explainable reason.
A doctor will perform an examination that includes looking at the skin, nails, and hair. A physician will also check the eyes for signs of swelling and to look for hand tremors.