Hyperthyroidism, also referred to as overactive thyroid, is a medical condition characterized by the thyroid gland’s excessive production and release of thyroid hormones. This condition accelerates the body’s metabolic processes, leading to a range of symptoms such as weight loss, hand tremors, and a rapid or irregular heartbeat. Common indicators of hyperthyroidism include a fast pulse, increased appetite, and heightened anxiety.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland overproduces and releases an excess of hormones, including triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). This condition can disrupt various bodily functions and requires professional medical attention.
Treatment options for hyperthyroidism encompass several approaches. Anti-thyroid medications and radioiodine therapy are effective in reducing thyroid hormone production. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to either partially or completely remove the thyroid gland. Depending on the underlying cause, hyperthyroidism may also resolve spontaneously without the need for medication or other medical interventions.
Diagnosing hyperthyroidism can be challenging as its symptoms may resemble other health issues. This condition can manifest in various ways, leading to a range of symptoms, such as:
In older adults, hyperthyroidism can present with subtle signs like an irregular heartbeat, unexplained weight loss, depression, or increased fatigue during daily tasks. If any of these symptoms arise, seeking prompt medical attention is crucial. Particularly, unexplained weight loss, rapid heartbeat, unusual sweating, or neck swelling may signal hyperthyroidism and should be reported to your healthcare provider along with all other symptoms, no matter how mild. After a hyperthyroidism diagnosis, most individuals will need ongoing follow-up appointments with their healthcare provider for close monitoring and effective management of the condition.
Hyperthyroidism is a medical condition that arises from various factors affecting the thyroid gland, a small butterfly-shaped organ located at the base of the neck. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in regulating the body’s metabolism, as it produces two key hormones: thyroxine (T-4) and triiodothyronine (T-3). These hormones have a wide-ranging impact on virtually every cell in the body. They influence the body’s utilization of fats and carbohydrates, help regulate body temperature, affect heart rate, and contribute to protein synthesis.
When the thyroid gland overproduces these thyroid hormones, it results in hyperthyroidism. Several medical conditions can lead to this excessive hormone production, including:
Factors that increase the risk of developing hyperthyroidism include:
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