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Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism- High level of thyroid hormones or T3, T4 in the blood. Thyroid hormones maintain metabolism of our body. Enlargement of thyroid gland will produce more thyroid hormones cause of increased body metabolism. Hypothalamus presents in the brain and regulates the pituitary gland for the release of thyroid hormones from thyroid gland.

Thyroid

Thyroid is a endocrine thyroid gland in the neck contains two lobes. The thyroid hormone secrets three types of hormones known as T3, T4 and calcitonin.

T3:

T3 is called triiodothyroinin as it contains 3 molecule of iodine and made up of protein. It presents in active form and helps in body’s metabolism.

T4:

T4 is called thyroxine as it contains 4 molecule of iodine and made up of protein. It produces in more quantity compare to T3 as T4 get converted to T3 in tissue and organ.

These two T3 and T4 maintain metabolism of our body, temperature and heart rate.

Calcitonin:

Calcitonin hormone reduces the level of calcium in blood to prevent the breakdown of bones. 

Causes

Hyperthyroidism is overactive thyroid condition caused by:

Graves’ disease (responsible for 70% of hyperthyroidism)

It is an autoimmune eye disease, increases the secretion of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland and result is hyperthyroidism.

Excessive release of thyroid from thyroid gland

High release of thyroid means high amount of thyroid in blood which causes hyper condition in thyroid.

Abnormal secretion of TSH

The hypothalamus in brain releases a hormone named TRH (Thyrotropin releasing hormone), which transfers the signal form hypothalamus to pituitary to release TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone). TSH sends a signal to thyroid gland for release of thyroid hormones. In this process, any of signal’s overreaction can lead to over production of thyroid hormones and ultimately hyperthyroid.

Excessive use of iodine

Iodine is source of thyroid in our body. Thyroid gland makes use of iodine to produce thyroid hormones. But large intake of iodine will push thyroid gland to make large thyroid hormones and this process will lead to hyperthyroidism.

Goiter

People with low intake of iodine mostly suffered form Goiter. Goiter leads to enlargements of thyroid gland and thus increases the release of thyroid hormones.

Thyroiditis

The condition of inflammation and swelling in thyroid gland known as Thyroiditis. Swelling and inflammation will increase the space in thyroid gland for storage of thyroid hormones and ultimately hyper condition.

Tumors of ovaries and testes

This condition increases the secretion of thyroid hormones and hyperthyroidism.

Large intake of thyroid hormones through dietary supplements

High intake of T3 and T4 thyroid hormones in your diet can lead to more production of thyroid hormones in the blood.

Symptoms

Sign and symptoms of thyroid problem sometime relate to others health conditions. Some of symptoms are:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Restlessness
  • Weakness
  • Tremors
  • Increased appetite
  • Brittle hair and hair loss
  • Reduced concentration ability
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Fluctuation in heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Changes in menstrual cycles
  • Swelling and inflammation….Goiter
  • Diarrhea
  • Sometime low serum cholesterol
  • Heat intolerance

Risk factors

People with these risk factors can have risk of developing hyperthyroidism are as below:

  • Gender
  • Person with over age 60
  • Pregnancy
  • Women who are pregnant or delivered a baby within past six months.
  • Iodine intake
  • Person who take iodine supplements or iodine containing drugs like amiodarone.
  • Smoke
  • Person with habit of smoking.
  • Risk of disease
  • Previous thyroid problem, Goiter
  • Genetic factor
  • Family history of thyroid or autoimmune disease
  • Gender
  • More risk in female as compare to male.

Diagnosis

Hyperthyroidism is diagnosed by :

Physical Exam

Hyperthyroidism can be suspected in patients with following symptoms:

  • Examination of thyroid gland to check any enlargement
  • Swelling or inflammation of thyroid gland
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Excessive sweating
  • Brittle hair or hair loss
  • Tremors
  • Heat intolerance, etc.

Thyroid hormone test or T3, T4 Test

It is simple type of blood test to check the high level of thyroid hormones (T3,T4). The test will show high level of these thyroid hormones in case of hyperthyroidism.

TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormones) Test

This type of test performed to check the level of TSH in blood. TSH , from hypothalamus to pituitary released and maintains the level of thyroid hormones T3,T4. The hypothyroidism’s patients have high level of T3 and T4 hormones in their blood while the level of TSH low. In hyperthyroidism, low level of TSH will indicate high level of thyroid hormones.

Antibody test or scan

Graves’ disease is a type of autoimmune disease in which antibody attacks thyroid tissue. This test will show types of antibodies attack on thyroid tissues and help to diagnose the Graves’ and autoimmune thyroiditis.

Another test is radioactive thyroid scan or iodine uptake test. This test will show functioning of your thyroid gland during iodine uptake. A radioactive iodine pill is given to patient and scan will start after 4 to 6 hrs. after you take iodine pill. Radioactive scan will identify the problem with your thyroid gland and also reason for hyperthyroidism.

Treatment

Hyperthyroidism means excess amount of thyroid hormones in our body. The treatments starts to eliminate the excess amount of thyroid hormones and maintain the level of hormones as of needed by our body. The options of treatments are:

Anti thyroid medications

In anti thyroid drugs, two types of drugs commonly used:

  • Propylthiouracil (PTU)
  • Methimazole (Tapazole)

These medication will act on thyroid gland and reduce the excess production of T3 and T4 hormones.

Beta blockers

Beta blockers (Propranolol or metoprolol)  are others option but not for everyone suffered from hyperthyroidism. Some patients can have high heartbeat or heart rate with hyperthyroidism. Beat blockers help to reduce the heart rate generally throughout the body.

Radioactive iodine

It is a iodine pill given in hyperthyroid condition and acts on thyroid cells to destroy them. It is safe as picked up by thyroid cells and destruction is normal that no widespread side effects.

It is not given in case of pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Surgery

It is type of thyroidectomy to remove the enlargement of thyroid gland and thus excess production of thyroid hormones. This type of surgery included in Graves’ disease, nodular thyroid goiter. Surgery can pose a small risk on vocal cord and parathyroid glands.

Each given treatments have their own risk and benefits which depend upon your types of symptoms and severity of disease that you have.

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