Hyperthyroidism- High level of thyroid hormones or T3( T3 is called triiodothyronine as it contains 3 molecules of iodine and made up of protein. It presents in active form and helps in the body’s metabolism.), T4(T4 is called thyroxine as it contains 4 molecules 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) in the blood. These two T3 and T4 maintain the metabolism of our body, temperature, and heart rate. 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 the thyroid gland.
Causes of Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is an 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 the thyroid gland
High release of thyroid means the high amount of thyroid in the blood which causes the hyper condition in the thyroid.
Abnormal secretion of TSH
The hypothalamus in the brain releases a hormone named TRH (Thyrotropin-releasing hormone), which transfers the signal from the hypothalamus to pituitary to release TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone). TSH sends a signal to the thyroid gland for the release of thyroid hormones. In this process, any of signal’s overreaction can lead to overproduction of thyroid hormones and ultimately hyperthyroid.
Excessive use of iodine
Iodine is a source of thyroid in our body. The thyroid gland makes use of iodine to produce thyroid hormones. But large intake of iodine will push the thyroid gland to make large thyroid hormones and this process will lead to hyperthyroidism.
People with low intake of iodine mostly suffered form Goiter. Goiter leads to enlargements of the thyroid gland and thus increases the release of thyroid hormones.
The condition of inflammation and swelling in the 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 of Hyperthyroidism
Sign and symptoms of thyroid problem sometimes relate to others health conditions. Some of the symptoms are:
- Extreme weight loss
- Increased appetite
- Brittle hair and hair loss
- Reduced concentration ability
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Fluctuation in heartbeat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in menstrual cycles
- Swelling and inflammation…Goiter
- Sometimes low serum cholesterol
- Heat intolerance
Risk factors for Hyperthyroidism
People with these risk factors can have the risk of developing hyperthyroidism are as below:
- The person with over age 60
- Women who are pregnant or delivered a baby within the past six months.
- Iodine intake
- A person who take iodine supplements or iodine-containing drugs like amiodarone.
- The person with a habit of smoking.
- Previous thyroid problem, Goiter
- Genetic factor
- A family history of thyroid or autoimmune disease
- More risk in female as compared to male.
Diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is diagnosed by :
Hyperthyroidism can be suspected in patients with the following symptoms:
- Examination of the thyroid gland to check any enlargement
- Swelling or inflammation of the thyroid gland
- Rapid heart rate
- Excessive sweating
- Brittle hair or hair loss
- Heat intolerance, etc.
Thyroid hormone test or T3, T4 Test
It is a simple type of blood test to check the high level of thyroid hormones (T3, T4). The test will show a 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 the hypothalamus to the pituitary released and maintains the level of thyroid hormones T3, T4. The hypothyroidism’s patients have the high level of T3 and T4 hormones in their blood while the level of TSH low. In hyperthyroidism, low level of TSH will indicate a 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 the 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. The radioactive scan will identify the problem with your thyroid gland and also the reason for hyperthyroidism.
Treatment of Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism means the excess amount of thyroid hormones in our body. The treatments start 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:
In antithyroid drugs, two types of drugs commonly used:
- Propylthiouracil (PTU)
- Methimazole (Tapazole)
These medications will act on the thyroid gland and reduce the excess production of T3 and T4 hormones.
Beta-blockers (Propranolol or metoprolol) are others option but not for everyone suffered from hyperthyroidism. Some patients can have a high heartbeat or heart rate with hyperthyroidism. Beat blockers help to reduce the heart rate generally throughout the body.
It is an 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.
It is a type of thyroidectomy to remove the enlargement of the thyroid gland and thus the excess production of thyroid hormones. This type of surgery included in Graves’ disease, nodular thyroid goiter. Surgery can pose a small risk on a 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.