What is Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is essentially a condition of the thyroids. The thyroid, which is a small gland shaped like a butterfly is located at the front of your neck. It produces two primary hormones known as tetraiodothyronine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) which control how your cells utilize energy. When an individual has hyperthyroidism then it means that the thyroid is producing too much of either T3 or T4 or both.
The three common types of Hyperthyroidism that experts essentially know of:
- Diffuse toxic goiter
- Toxic multinodular goiter
- Toxic adenoma
There are quite a few Hyperthyroidism symptoms that individuals must know about. There are some that require immediate medical attention and some that do not and can be treated otherwise. We have listed some of the most common ones across the different types and depending on their intensity, before for your reference and knowledge:
- Elevated blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- Hand tremors
- Excessive sweating
- Developing a low tolerance for heat
- More frequent bowel movements
- Rapid weight loss
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- An increase in appetite
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Increase in hair loss
- Vomiting and nausea
- Development of breasts in men
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of consciousness
These are some common reasons for Hyperthyroidism that people experience.
Who is at Risk?
There are various Hyperthyroidism risk factors as it can happen to anyone due to multiple reasons. However, experts have been able to identify certain possible risk factors related to this. We have mentioned them below for your reference and understanding of the same:
- Someone who is suffering from certain medical conditions like viral infections and autoimmune disorders
- Pregnant women
- Even though this can happen to anyone irrespective of age but is known to be more common in people who are above the age of 60.
- Women are more likely to develop this than men
- Genetic factors
There are a variety of Hyperthyroidism causes which have been identified by health experts. Graves’ disease which is an autoimmune disorder is known to be the most common cause of this condition. Apart from that, we have discussed below for your understanding some of these causes in details:
- An increase in iodine which is said to be the key ingredient in T3 and T4.
- Testes or tumours of the ovaries
- Benign tumour of the pituitary gland or thyroid
- When an individual has consumed large amounts of tetraiodothyronine through either medications or dietary supplements
- Thyroiditis or inflammation of thyroid
How is Hyperthyroidism diagnosed?
For Hyperthyroidism diagnosis, a Hyperthyroidism doctor will need to perform a certain number of Hyperthyroidism tests to understand if there are any underlying conditions that is causing Hyperthyroidism to happen in the first place. He will first conduct a physical exam and a get an idea of your complete medical history. The doctor may then have to conduct multiple tests to get to the root cause of the problem. Some of these tests include:
- A cholesterol test to check for cholesterol levels in the body. Low levels will be an indicator of an elevated metabolic rate
- Free T4, T4 and T3 tests to measure the amount of thyroid hormone present in your blood
- A thyroid scan
How is Hyperthyroidism treated?
There are different methods for Hyperthyroidism treatment. We have mentioned it below for you:
- A Surgery may be done to remove a section of your thyroid gland. Most people respond well.
- Radioactive iodine is performed on individuals to destroy the cells which are responsible for the production of the hormones.
- In certain cases, the doctor may prescribe some medicine for hyperthyroidism.
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How can Hyperthyroidism be prevented?
If you have been thinking about how to prevent Hyperthyroidism then it can be done by keeping some simple measures in mind. Some of these have been mentioned below for your understanding and consideration:
- Eating a good and healthy diet with an increased focus on calcium and sodium intake as these are essential minerals to keep hyperthyroidism at bay.
- Work with your doctor to chart out a good workout plan
- Include nutritional supplements in your daily life
- Take Vitamin D and calcium supplements to increase the health of your bones and make them strong again.