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Hyperthyroidism: Introduction

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: Misdiagnosis

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 ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Hyperthyroidism:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Hyperthyroidism. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Hyperthyroidism: Causes | Symptom Checker »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Hyperthyroidism

Home medical tests possibly related to Hyperthyroidism:

Causes of Types of Hyperthyroidism:

Review causes of types of Hyperthyroidism in more specific categories:

Hyperthyroidism: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Hyperthyroidism, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Hyperthyroidism Treatments

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 ...Hyperthyroidism Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Hyperthyroidism may include:

Review further information on Hyperthyroidism Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Hyperthyroidism

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Hyperthyroidism may include:

Stories from Users for Hyperthyroidism

Real-life user stories relating to Hyperthyroidism:

Drug interactions causing Hyperthyroidism:

When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Hyperthyroidism as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Hyperthyroidism: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Hyperthyroidism may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Hyperthyroidism

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Hyperthyroidism:

Misdiagnosis and Hyperthyroidism

Cluster of diseases with difficult diagnosis issues: There is a well-known list of medical conditions that are all somewhat difficult to diagnose, and all can present in a variety of different severities. Diseases more »

Alzheimer's disease over-diagnosed: The well-known disease of Alzheimer's disease is often over-diagnosed. Patients tend to assume that any memory loss or forgetulness symptom might be Alzheimer's, whereas there are many other less severe possibilities. Some level more »

Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for a patient to show mental decline to dementia. Whereas this can, of course, occur due more »

Rare type of breast cancer without a lump: There is a less common form of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer. Its symptoms can be an inflammation of the breast tissue, such as with a breast rash more »

Tremor need not be Parkinson's disease: There is the tendency to believe that any tremor symptom, or shakiness, means Parkinson's disease. The reality is that there are various possibilities, such as benign essential tremor, which is mostly more »

Rare diseases misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease: A rare genetic disorder is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease for men in their 50's. The disease Fragile X more »

Thyroid disorders greatly under-diagnosed: One study found that about 10% of people had undiagnosed thyroid disorders, mostly hyperthyroidism, but also hypothyroidism. The symptoms of more »

Hyperthyroidism: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

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Hospitals & Clinics: Hyperthyroidism

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Hyperthyroidism: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Hyperthyroidism: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Causes of Hyperthyroidism listed in Disease Database:

Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible causes of Hyperthyroidism as a symptom include:

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)

Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone and makes the body... (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)

Excessive functional activity of the thyroid gland.
- (Source - CRISP)

Too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms include weight loss, chest pain, cramps, diarrhea, and nervousness. Also called overactive thyroid.
- (Source - National Cancer Institute)

Detailed list of causes of Hyperthyroidism

The list below shows some of the causes of Hyperthyroidism mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Hyperthyroidism?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Hyperthyroidism. Of the 41 causes of Hyperthyroidism that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 0 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 3 causes are "common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 5 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 35 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Hyperthyroidism:

The following list of conditions have 'Hyperthyroidism' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Hyperthyroidism or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Hyperthyroidism:

The following list of medical conditions have Hyperthyroidism or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.


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What are the alternative names for Hyperthyroidism:

Hyperthyroid, Thyroid activity increased, Thyrotoxicosis
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Classifications of Hyperthyroidism:

Medical Conditions associated with Hyperthyroidism:

Thyroid symptoms (172 causes), Thyroid problems (154 causes), Endocrine symptoms (217 causes)

Symptoms related to Hyperthyroidism:

Goiter (77 causes), Thyroid symptoms (172 causes), Thyroid disorders (18 causes), Amiodarone, Choriocarcinoma, De Quervain thyroiditis, Graves' disease (10 causes), Hashimoto's thyroiditis (1 cause), Hydatidiform mole, Jod-Basedow thyrotoxicosis, Pituitary tumour, Polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, Postpartum thyroiditis (1 cause)

Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

These general medical articles may be of interest:

Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Hyperthyroidism:

More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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