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HYPERTHYROIDISM

It is a medical condition that occurs due to excessive production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. This tiny gland is found in neck. An overactive thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. This makes your metabolism work at a faster rate.

Types of Hyperthyroidism

  • Graves' disease. This is an autoimmune disorder. It is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It happens when an antibody overstimulates the thyroid. This condition is most often found in young to middle-aged women. It also tends to run in families.
  • Toxic nodular goiter. This condition happens when 1 or more nodules of the thyroid gland become too active.
  • Thyroiditis. It occurs when the thyroid becomes irritated. It temporarily causes the thyroid to be overactive. The thyroid then often becomes underactive.

Symptoms

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Increased perspiration
  • Heat intolerance
  • Hyperactivity
  • Palpitations
  • Tachycardia or atrial arrhythmia
  • Systolic hypertension
  • Warm, moist, smooth skin
  • Lid lag
  • Prominent eye
  • Light sensitivity and blurring vision
  • Problem sleeping
  • Hand tremor
  • Muscle weakness
  • Weight loss despite increased appetite
  • Reduction in menstrual flow or oligomenorrhea 

Causes

  • excess iodine, a key ingredient in T4 and T3
  • inflammation of the thyroid (thyroiditis) that causes T4 and T3 to leak out of the gland
  • tumors of the ovaries or testes
  • benign tumors of the thyroid or pituitary gland
  • large amounts of tetraiodothyronine taken through dietary supplements or medication

Diagnosis

  • Blood tests. They can measure the amount of thyroid hormone and thyroid stimulating hormone in the blood. TSH is usually low and T3,T4 are usually high.
  • Thyroid ultrasound. This test can see if your thyroid gland has any nodules. 
  • Thyroid scan. This test uses a radioactive substance to make an image of the thyroid.

Complications

  • Heart problems. Some of the most serious complications of hyperthyroidism involve the heart. These include a rapid heart rate, a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure — a condition in which your heart can't circulate enough blood to meet your body's needs. These complications generally are reversible with appropriate treatment.
  • Brittle bones. Untreated hyperthyroidism can also lead to weak, brittle bones (osteoporosis). The strength of your bones depends, in part, on the amount of calcium and other minerals they contain. Too much thyroid hormone interferes with your body's ability to incorporate calcium into your bones.
  • Eye problems. People with Graves' ophthalmopathy develop eye problems, including bulging, red or swollen eyes, sensitivity to light, and blurring or double vision. Untreated, severe eye problems can lead to vision loss.
  • Red, swollen skin. In rare cases, people with Graves' disease develop Graves' dermopathy, which affects the skin, causing redness and swelling, often on the shins and feet.
  • Thyrotoxic crisis. Hyperthyroidism also places you at risk of thyrotoxic crisis — a sudden intensification of your symptoms, leading to a fever, a rapid pulse and even delirium. If this occurs, seek immediate medical care.