Hyperthyroidism is a disease of the thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism results in an abnormal overactivity of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in the front part of the neck, and the thyroid hormone it produces is vital to normal metabolism. In hyperthyroidism the thyroid is stimulated to produce too much thyroid hormone.
Increased production of thyroid hormone in hyperthyroidism leads to a stimulation or quickening of the body's metabolism. This results in symptoms of hyperthyroidism that include nervousness, anxiety, irritability, weight loss, bulging eyes, and hypertension. Hyperthyroidism may also lead to serious, potentially life-threatening complications. For more details on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is also called Graves' disease. Hyperthyroidism is more common in women than in men. People over the age of fifty who have hypertension or atherosclerosis are at risk for developing hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism can occur when the thyroid gland is attacked by the body's own immune system and causes it to become overactive and produce too much thyroid hormone. This form of hyperthyroidism is a type of autoimmune thyroid disease.
Hyperthyroidism can also be caused by the growth of a thyroid nodule on the thyroid gland. A thyroid nodule is a noncancerous cyst that produces additional thyroid hormone, resulting in high levels of thyroid hormone.
Making a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. A physician or health care provider may feel larger than normal thyroid gland or goiter in the neck.
A blood test is performed to determine levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and the thyroid hormone thyroxine. Low levels of TSH and high levels of thyroxine indicate that a thyroid gland is overactive and may indicate a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism.
A nuclear scan of the thyroid may also be done to visualize the thyroid gland and determine how it is affected by hyperthyroidism.
Other tests may be performed to check for potential complications of hyperthyroidism, such as heart disease. A chest X-ray may be done to evaluate the size of the heart and to check for fluid accumulation in the lungs that can occur with heart failure. An EKG may be done to diagnose abnormal heart rhythms.
It is possible that a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism can be missed or delayed because symptoms can be associated with other conditions, such as excessive caffeine use, angina, aging or stress. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of hyperthyroidism.
Prompt diagnosis and treatment of hyperthyroidism can result in a good prognosis, and even a cure in some cases. With regular medical care and monitoring of hyperthyroidism, many people with the disease live active, normal life spans. Treatment of hyperthyroidism can include medication and surgery. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of hyperthyroidism. ...more »
Hyperthyroidism refers to excess secretion of thyroid hormones
by the thyroid gland.
It is also called "thyrotoxicosis".
One common type of hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease,
which is an autoimmune disease. ...more »
The types and severity of symptoms of hyperthyroidism can vary between individuals. Symptoms are the result of an increased production of thyroid hormone, which leads to a stimulation or quickening of the body's metabolism.
Typical symptoms include anxiety, shaky hands, sweating, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, increased appetite, tremors, and weight ...more symptoms »
There is no way to prevent hyperthyroidism. However, with prompt recognition and treatment, high levels of thyroid hormone can be returned to normal levels in the body. With regular medical care and monitoring of hyperthyroidism, many people live active, normal life spans.
Hyperthyroidism may be treated with medications called beta blockers, which can minimize some symptoms, such as rapid ...more treatments »
A diagnosis of hyperthyroidism may be delayed or missed because some symptoms, such as nervousness, irritability fatigue, weight gain, muscle aches and weakness can be ambiguous and/or mild. These symptoms can be easily attributed to other conditions, such as excessive coffee drinking, aging, stress, anxiety, excessive exercise, lack of exercise, perimenopause, cold weather or ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
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symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
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Causes of Hyperthyroidism
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Prevention of Hyperthyroidism
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Article Excerpts about Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces too much thyroid
hormone and makes the body use more energy than it should. Symptoms may
include nervousness, irritability, shaky hands, increased perspiration,
warm skin, thinning hair, weight loss, decreased menstruation, eye
changes, and weak leg muscles. Grave's disease is the most common form of
hyperthyroidism. It is an autoimmune condition in which the body produces
antibodies that overstimulate the thyroid gland, so that it produces too
much thyroid hormone. (Source: excerpt from Thyroid Disease: NWHIC)
Definitions of Hyperthyroidism:
The clinical syndrome that reflects the response of the peripheral tissues to an excess of thyroid hormone.
- (Source - Diseases Database)
An overactive thyroid gland; pathologically excessive production of thyroid hormones or the condition resulting from excessive production of thyroid hormones
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)
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