All about Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is a health condition, rather a disease in which the thyroid gland of an individual is hyperactive i.e. secretes hormones more than what is ideally required by the body. The Thyroid is a butterfly-looking gland located in the front of our neck and regulates our metabolic system. Basically it secretes two hormones known as Tetraiodothyronine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) which control the entire metabolism of our body and when too much of these T4 and T3 are secreted by Thyroid gland, a condition known as Hyperthyroidism develops.
What causes Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroid can be caused by a variety of reasons but the likelihood of developing hyperthyroid due to Graves’ disease is pretty high. In Graves’ disease, the immune system of one’s body attacks thyroid gland and the latter defends itself by producing too much of T4 and T3 i.e. thyroid hormones. This disease is commonly found in females and is often inherited. Apart from Graves’ disease there are number of things that may cause Hyperthyroidism, the most common of which are excessive iodine intake, tumors in ovaries and testes, thyroid nodules and inflammation of thyroid gland etc.
As stated earlier, the functioning of thyroid gland relates to regulation of metabolic system, thus a hyperactive thyroid gland would secrete high amounts of thyroid hormones thereby increasing one’s metabolic rate. A high metabolic rate would imply excessive burning of calories, sudden weight loss and increase in heart beat. Other notable symptoms of thyroid are listed below:
- In case the root cause of Hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease, there is all likelihood that one may develop exophthalmoses i.e. would have prominent eyes appearing outwards.
- Excessive bowel movements
- Sudden hunger pangs and eating more than usual
- Person may feel moody, tired and fatigued even without doing any prominent physical work.
- May experience difficulty in sleeping, itching, hair loss and breast development in men etc.
The good news for all the persons suffering from this challenging condition is that Hyperthyroidism is curable and can be treated if diagnosed well within time. There are a number of medical tests through which Hyperthyroid can be identified such as thyroid scan, CT scan, TSH level tests and complete cholesterol tests. The most popular and successful hyperthyroidism treatment includes:
- Oral medication
There are a number of anti-thyroid medications available in the market today that successfully control the excessive production of thyroid hormones in the body and these medications must be taken only if prescribed by the physician after proper diagnosis.
- Radioactive iodine
This is another popular treatment of hyperthyroidism which involves use of iodine radioactivity which destroys the thyroid producing cells in one’s body.
It may be possible, that the patient’s body doesn’t respond to oral medications and radioactive iodine. In this case, the patient will need to undergo surgery for the removal of entire or a small portion of thyroid gland. Once the surgery is carried out, doctors may prescribe the patients to take thyroid supplements and beta blockers that keep functioning and secretion of thyroid gland under control.