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Hyperthyroidism – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Apr 05, 2017

Hyperthyroidism – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Hyperthyroidism is a condition caused because of the over-activity of the thyroid gland which causes it to secrete excessive amounts of the thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland is located at the front of the neck and is responsible for the production of a hormone that controls a person’s metabolism, heart rate, weight, temperature and other functions. In hyperthyroidism, due to excessive production of this hormone, the bodily processes tend to get accelerated causing rapid weight loss, increased or irregular heartbeat, sweating, anxiety and other complications in the body.

A number of pre-existing diseases can act as precursors for hyperthyroidism thereby causing the condition in humans. These diseases include Grave’s disease, toxic adenoma, Plummer’s disease, thyroiditis, etc. Though not a fatal condition, hyperthyroidism does lead to severe health complications like the conditions of heart (atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure), osteoporosis (brittle bones), complications in the eye (red/swollen eyes, blurred vision, and vision loss), skin problems (swelling and redness), and thyrotoxic crisis (fever, rapid pulse and delirium).

Hyperthyroidism is often misunderstood as other medical conditions because the symptoms are very similar to those of other diseases or disorders. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Tachycardia (increased heartbeat)
  • Excessive hunger
  • Nervousness, anxiety and irritability
  • Profuse sweating
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Skin conditions
  • Brittle nails and hair

Several treatments available for hyperthyroidism and the suitable treatment is decided on several factors like the patient’s age, health, the cause of the condition, and the intensity of the disease. The most common treatment is the prescription of radioactive iodine supplements and other anti-thyroid medications which help in slowing down the activity of the thyroid gland. In severe cases, where the condition is intolerable, surgery known as thyroidectomy is performed on the patient wherein a maximum portion of the thyroid gland is removed.

Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

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