Hyperthyroidism: Help, Support and Overcome
Hyperthyroidism is a disease that makes the thyroid gland hyperactive resulting in the secretion of excess thyroid hormone. It is also referred to as overactive thyroid. The thyroid gland is one of the essential organs of the endocrine system. This gland produces triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) hormones, which control the energy utilization by the body cells. This process is commonly known as metabolism. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland secretes greater quantities of thyroid hormone over short or long periods of time. Similar to other conditions of the thyroid gland, it generally affects women.
The reason for the excessive release of the hormone may be either because of the overproduction of the hormone or because of some inflammation or damage to the thyroid gland. It is very important to distinguish between the two reasons in order to undertake proper treatment. Because of the excessive release of the hormone, metabolism increases and results in a number of health abnormalities, such as bone loss, heart disease, and complications in pregnancy. Too much thyroid in your body can also result in other changes in your body, such as losing weight quickly, sweating a lot, feeling nervous, or having a rapid heartbeat.
Help and Support for Hyperthyroidism
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Grave’s disease. This disease results when the body’s natural defense system attacks the thyroid gland. As a consequence, the thyroid gland fights back by secreting more thyroid hormone. Just like other thyroid problems, Grave’s disease is also inherited. In some cases, hyperthyroidism results because of the swollen thyroid or the growth of small nodules in the thyroid gland known as thyroid nodules.
It is not necessary that hyperthyroidism will show any symptoms. However, the most common symptoms seen are:
1. Feeling weak, tired, nervous or moody.
2. Trembling of hands, rapid heartbeat and problems in breathing.
3. Excessive sweating or having warm, red and itchy skin.
4. Having more bowel movements.
5. Losing weight even after eating adequate diet.
If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to major heart problems, bone problems and a dangerous condition known as thyroid storm. In order to diagnose a patient of hyperthyroidism, a simple blood test is carried out to examine how much thyroid is made by the body.
If the symptoms of hyperthyroidism bother you, your doctor may advise you to take beta-blockers, while your doctor prescribes you a proper treatment plan. But, even if the symptoms cause you no harm, you still need medical treatment. The most common medicines used by doctors to treat this condition are antithyroid drugs and radioactive iodine. After taking just a single dose of radioactive iodine most people are cured, it destroys a portion of the thyroid gland without harming other parts of the body. Antithyroid medicines are best taken if the patient has mild symptoms. These medicines do not damage the thyroid gland and sometimes even fail to work. The most appropriate treatment will depend on a number of factors including your age. After taking a treatment course one needs to go for regular blood checks to see if the thyroid production is normal.