The Signs of Hyperthyroidism

Hyper or Hypothyroidism which is it?

Hyperthyroid may require a doctor’s exam

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.

What Is Hypothyroidism?

Thyroid foundation article on disease

Find out more on hypothyroidism

Among often misused medical terms hypothyroidism ranks high on the list. Often taking the blame for a few additional pounds this condition is also seen more as an excuse than a real, and potential dangerous physical condition. In reality, this condition affecting the thyroid gland can lead to other serious medical problems such as joint pain, infertility, obesity, and heart disease.


The Hormone Cause


The cause is an imbalance of hormones, which can occur for a number of reasons. The most common reasons are autoimmune disease, radiation therapy, thyroid surgery or medications that affect the gland.


In particular autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis often develop hypothyroidism as this causes the body’s immune system to attack health tissue. While scientists are sure why the body develops this faulty response, but it’s believed either a virus or genetic flaw triggers it, and this results in reducing the glands ability to produce hormones.


For those who have thyroid surgery typically hypothyroidism occurs when a large portion or the entire gland is removed. This will halt or serious diminish the amount of hormones released by thyroid. Typically, after surgery when the gland is radically affected it will be necessary to take replacement thyroid hormones for life.


Medications such as lithium and radiation therapy will also diminish the hormones from this gland. Lithium is used for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, and usually a doctor can work with a patient taking this medication to reduce the risk of this side effect. After radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer especially in the area around the head or the neck will often result in the individual needing to take medication to balance the hormones in the thyroid.


During pregnancy many women will develop antibodies to their own thyroid gland and will develop this condition, but usually after childbirth this problem is resolved. It can affect a woman’s blood pressure during the last three months of pregnancy, and affect the development of the fetus. Usually tests performed during routine checkups during pregnancy will catch this problem.


Iodine deficiency is another reason some develop with this condition, as iodine is essential to thyroid gland. This isn’t a common problem in developed countries where most have access to iodized salt or foods such as seafood, or organics grown in iodine rich soil.


Complications with Hypothyroidism


Several complications can affect those who develop this condition no matter the cause. Along with weight gain some individuals will develop a goiter especially is the cause is Hashimoto thyroiditis. Those with this condition have trouble with LDL cholesterol often referred to as “bad cholesterol”. This type of complication can in turn lead to a risk of heart disease. Mental health issues such as depression often arise from hypothyroidism, as does peripheral neuropathy a problem in which the person will experience pain numbness, and tingling in various parts of the body.


Regular checks up for those in high risks groups, and for women over the age of 60 are the best way to catch and treat this condition before complications can occur.