The thyroid gland is a tiny organ in the front of the neck that wraps around the windpipe (trachea). It has the shape of a butterfly, with two wide wings that wrap around the side of your throat. The thyroid gland is a gland. Throughout your body, glands produce and release substances that assist your body in performing a specific function. Your thyroid gland produces hormones that aid in the regulation of many critical bodily functions.
Hyperthyroidism, also known as overactive thyroid, is a disorder in which your thyroid produces and releases excessive amounts of thyroid hormone. This disorder can cause your metabolism to accelerate. Hyperthyroidism symptoms include a quick heartbeat, weight loss, increased appetite, and anxiety. Antithyroid medications, radioactive iodine, beta-blockers, and surgery can all be used to treat hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism can be caused by the following conditions:
Graves’ disease: In this illness, the entire thyroid gland may become overactive and release an excessive amount of hormone. This condition is also known as diffuse toxic goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).
Nodules: Hyperthyroidism can be induced by thyroid nodules that are hyperactive. A toxic autonomously functioning thyroid nodule is a single nodule, whereas a toxic multi-nodular goiter is a gland with multiple nodules.
Thyroiditis: This condition might be uncomfortable or not at all. Thyroiditis causes the thyroid to release hormones that have been stored there. This can continue for several weeks or months.
Excess iodine: When your body has too much iodine (the mineral used to manufacture thyroid hormones), the thyroid produces more thyroid hormones than it requires. Some drugs (such as amiodarone, a cardiac medication) and cough syrups contain high levels of iodine.
There are various hyperthyroidism therapies available. The optimal approach for you will be determined by your age and health. The underlying cause of hyperthyroidism and its severity also play a role. When you and your doctor decide on a treatment plan, your particular preferences should be taken into account. Treatment options include
Thyroid medication- These drugs gradually alleviate hyperthyroidism symptoms by preventing the thyroid gland from producing too many hormones. Methimazole and propylthiouracil are two anti-thyroid medicines. Symptoms normally improve within a few weeks to months.
Anti-thyroid medication is commonly used for 12 to 18 months. After that, the dose may be gradually reduced or discontinued if symptoms subside and blood tests show that thyroid hormone levels have returned to normal. Anti-thyroid medication can put hyperthyroidism into long-term remission in certain persons. However, some persons may experience a relapse of hyperthyroidism following this treatment.
Beta-blockers- These medications have no effect on thyroid hormone levels. However, they can alleviate hyperthyroidism symptoms such as tremors, fast heart rate, and palpitations. Sometimes doctors give them to relieve symptoms until thyroid hormone levels return to normal. These medications are generally not suggested for people with asthma. Fatigue and sexual issues are possible side effects.
Radioiodine treatment– Radioiodine is absorbed by the thyroid gland. The gland shrinks as a result of this treatment. This medication is used orally. Symptoms often improve after many months of medication. This medication frequently causes thyroid function to drop down to the point where the thyroid gland becomes inactive. That condition is known as hypothyroidism. As a result, you may need to take thyroid hormone replacement medication over time.
Thyroidectomy- This is surgery to remove a portion or the entire thyroid gland. It is not commonly used to treat hyperthyroidism. However, it may be an alternative for pregnant women. It may also be an option for those who are unable to take anti-thyroid medication and do not wish to or are unable to undergo radioiodine therapy.
It might be difficult to receive a new diagnosis. The good news is that hyperthyroidism is a disorder that can be managed and treated. Contact your healthcare practitioner if you are having hyperthyroidism symptoms or have certain risk factors, such as a family history of Graves’ illness. They can run some easy tests on you to discover if your thyroid is producing too much thyroid hormone.
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