- Posted on- Mar 27, 2015
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Hyperthyroidism is a health condition where the thyroid gland is overactive and produces large amount of the hormone thyroxine. The thyroid gland is situated at the front of the neck and releases hormones that control the body’s metabolism. When a patient is suffering from hyperthyroidism, his/her metabolism rate shoots up indefinitely causing irregular heartbeat, sudden weight loss, nervousness, sweating, sleeping issues and more.
Hyperthyroidism can create other health complications which often make it difficult for the doctor to diagnose.
Causes of Hyperthyroidism
The thyroid gland produces (T3) triiodothyronine and (T4) thyroxine hormones which control most of the body functions. If the gland makes too much of T3 and T4 hormones, it is definitely hyperthyroidism.
One of the common and prime causes of hyperthyroidism is the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease. In this disease, the body produces an antibody called thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) which causes the thyroid gland to release excessive amount of thyroid hormone. Graves’ disease usually runs in families and found more active on women.
Another reason for hyperthyroidism is a multinodular goiter. These are lumps in the thyroid gland that cause the thyroid to make too much thyroid hormone. Additionally, swelling of the thyroid gland- known as thyroiditis- resulting from an immune problem may also temporarily cause hyperthyroidism. Furthermore, too much iodine intake in the form of food or medication can also trigger the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
Diagnosis of hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is diagnosed by analyzing symptoms and based on them endocrinologists conduct physical exam and blood test to assess levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormones T3 and T4. He may perform an ultrasound to check the thyroid for inflammation.