Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland excretes an excessive amount of thyroid hormone called thyroxine (T4).
-Over age 60
-History of autoimmune disease
Signs and Symptoms
– Weight loss despite increased appetite
– Nervousness, Anxiety or Irritability
– Hand Tremors
– Increased sensitivity to heat or heat intolerance
– Increased perspiration or diaphoresis
– Elevated or rapid heart beat
– Increased activity level despite fatigue and weakness
– Changes in bowel habits
– Enlargement of the thyroid gland which can appear as a swelling at the base of the neck
–Exophthalmos (bulging eyes)
– About 70% of the cases, hyperthyroidism is caused by an autoimmune disorder called Graves’ disease. The immune system which produces antibodies (a protein produced by the body to protect against a virus or bacteria) stimulates the thyroid gland, making it produce too much thyroid hormones.
– Thyroiditis ( thyroid gland inflammation)
– Toxic multinodular goiter (Plummer disease)
– Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules
Thyroid function test is the test done to confirm the diagnosis. The most common blood test for thyroid function is T3, T4, and TSH. A blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm and sent off to the laboratory for analysis. Usually the ‘free’ or active portion of T4 and T3 is measured (i.e., FT4 and FT3). The result will show a high FT4 and low TSH level which suggests an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
A thyroid scan may also be requested by your doctor to determine whether your thyroid nodule is overactive. Usually, the entire gland is overactive for Graves disease. If thyroiditis is suspected, the scan shows low activity because of inflammation.
– An antithyroid oral agent such as Methimazole and propylthiouracil to decrease the production of thyroid hormones. High doses are given initially and later adjusted according to the results of the blood test. This drug usually controls thyroid function within 6 to 12 weeks. Although a large dose of this medication effects more quickly, increased risk of side effects may occur.
– Beta blockers to decrease heart rate, reduce tremors and control anxiety
– Radioactive iodine gradually shrinks the thyroid gland or destroy part of the thyroid gland.
–Surgery, A thyroidectomy may opt for a person with very large goiter and for those who have allergies or severe side effects from the drugs.