A disorder of the thyroid gland that causes it to excrete excessive amounts of the thyroid hormone is called hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland that is located in the front of the neck just above the collar bone. The thyroid gland secretes hormones that affect your heart muscles, bones and metabolism. Hyperthyroidism is a disorder that is also associated with Graves’ disease. When a person has Graves’ disease the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland which causes it to excrete too much thyroid hormone.

When a person has hyperthyroidism they usually will have an enlarged thyroid caused by the excessive stimulation of the thyroid gland by abnormal amounts of circulating immune proteins. You can also be caused by a rare tumors in the pituitary gland, inflammatory diseases of the thyroid or the administration of too much thyroid hormone and various other causes.

Hyperthyroidism causes a speed of the metabolism and other functions of the body like the heart rate. It also increases bowel movement frequency. When a person has hyperthyroidism they have an increased appetite coupled with a rapid loss of body weight at the same time. Some other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include intolerance to cold, fatigue, irritability, depression, apathy polyuria and sweating. People who have hypothyroidism can also experience heart palpitations, heart arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, nausea, vomiting, loss of libido and dyspnea. The person may also feel nervous and moody and experience hair loss. Hyperthyroidism is usually discovered during routine blood tests that are done for other reasons.

Eyelid retraction can also be triggered by hypothyroidism. Eyelid-lag may also occur. A condition called exophtalmos is common in people who have hyperthyroidism. This is a common symptom in Graves’ disease and is a condition where the eyeball protrudes out of the socket.

Certain medical complications can arise when the person is not treated for hyperthyroidism. Audible heart murmurs can be heard and sometimes if it is left untreated, hyperthyroidism can cause cardiac arrest and death. The spleen can become enlarged and the lymph nodes can become enlarged as well. Osteoporosis is common in people who have hyperthyroidism.

A rare and extreme case of hyperthyroidism is a condition can occur and it is called “thyroid storm.” This condition involves delirium, rapid pulse, vomiting, high fever, diarrhea and dehydration. When a person has this rare condition caused by hyperthyroidism the mortality rate is high. A definite diagnosis for this rare condition associated with hyperthyroidism depends upon the serum thyroid hormone levels in the blood and a thorough clinical history of the patient as well as a thorough medical examination by a medical doctor.

Treatment for mild cases of hyperthyroidism is usually the use of anti-thyroid medication. However this type of treatment requires that you take them at the same time every day. And they thyroid medication treatment usually takes between 12 and 18 months. However, there is a 50% chance for relapse when anti-thyroid medication is used alone. When medication does not work the patient will need to have radioactive iodine treatment as well. Usually the treatment for hyperthyroidism includes beta blockers.

Beta blockers are a certain types of prescription medication that are prescribed by a medial doctor to help control the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Medical doctors also prescribe radioactive iodine treatments. In many cases radioactive iodine treatment will commonly be the first type of treatment given to patients who have hyperthyroidism because it is the most successful treatment. This is because the radioactive iodine destroys part of the thyroid gland so that it cannot create systems thyroid. If the person has a goiter on their thyroid gland it is usually surgically removed. Chances for reoccurrence of the goiter are high.

Last updated on Nov 13th, 2009 and filed under Endocrine System. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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