What is hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism (also known as overactive thyroid or hyperthyreosis ) is a condition where the thyroid is overly active due to excessive production of thyroid stimulating hormones (TSH) by pituitary gland or excessive iodine in the body which may lead to excessive production of thyroxines – thyroid hormones
There are two major hormones produced by the thyroid gland namely: tetraiodothyronine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), the only two primary hormones that control metabolism and how your cells use energy.
Overactive thyroid symptoms are noticeable as soon as these two thyroid hormones begin to increase beyond the required level.
There are several conditions that may give rise to hyperthyroidism such as ovarian/testicle tumor, inflammation of the thyroid gland also known as thyroiditis, excessive amount of iodine in the body, thyroid tumor, tumor of the pituitary gland.
Signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism
There are certain diagnostic results that shows up when someone is having an overactive thyroid gland. Here are some of the signs of hyperthyroidism
- Excessive amount of T3 and T4 thyroid hormones in the blood.
- Blood pressure elevation.
- Tremors on the hands and occasionally the legs.
- Increased metabolic rate (hypermetabolism).
- Low tolerance for heat or temperatures that are too high.
- Low blood cholesterol levels which may also trigger elevated metabolic rate.
- Fast irregular heart rate in extreme cases, and fastened metabolic rate which may result in profuse sweating.
One of the symptoms of overactive thyroid gland is enlarged thyroid glands which is often represented as goiter an enlarged swelling at the front or side of the neck which often presents as either symmetrical or bilateral goiter.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism When you have high levels of the two aforementioned thyroxine hormones
When you have high levels of the two aforementioned thyroxine hormones in your body you may experience one or most of these hyperthyroidism symptoms:
- Body weakness as a result of fast metabolic rate.
- Some men do grow short breast.
- Increased appetite.
- You become too nervous.
- Body itching.
- Reduced attention span, coupled with inability to coordinate your thought.
- You become restless frequently.
- One of the classic symptoms of hyperthyroidism to look out for is irregular heart beat. This is due to increased metabolic rate, the heart tends to beat faster to accommodate increase metabolism, to supply blood round the body in a timely manner.
Other symptoms of overactive thyroid are the following:
Heightened anxiety, sleeping difficulties, frequent bowel movements and irregular menstrual period in women.
When you notice the following overactive thyroid symptoms it is time to call your doctor:
- Shortness of breath.
- Persistent dizziness and feelings of fainting.
- Irregular spasmodic heart beats and pulse.
In the management of thyroid gland defects, the underlying hyperthyroidism symptoms are normally treated but proper diagnosis has to be made first, this can be done by requesting for T3 and T4 hormonal assay profiles, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level test, thyroid reuptake test, T4 and T3 Resin Uptake (T3RU) Tests, cholesterol level test and triglycerides level tests.
Another complication that may occur when you have hyperthyroidism is brittle bones. This is one of hyperthyroidism symptoms that needs to be taken care of.
Acting fast when you start noticing early symptoms of hyperthyroidism is the best time to curb and reduce the symptoms to the nearest minimum.
Overactive thyroid can be treated by using radioactive iodine, though with attendant side effects such as lowered white blood cell counts.
Antithyroid hormones such as tapazole may also be used to reduce the secretion of thyroid hormones.