Our thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck. Two primary hormones tetraiodothyronine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are produced by the thyroid gland. These hormones control how our cells use the energy, thus regulating the metabolism. Now let’s see what leads to hyperthyroidism (Condition where the gland becomes overactive)
When the thyroid gland produces an excess level of tetraiodothyronine (T4) and/or triiodothyronine (T3) the resulting condition is known as hyperthyroidism.
- Graves disease is an autoimmune disease which is the most common causes of hyperthyroidism
- Excess iodine
- Inflammation of the thyroid gland
- Tumours in ovaries and testes
- Tumours of thyroid and pituitary gland
- Intake of huge amounts of tetraiodothyronine through dietary supplements or medication
When the body is in a hypermetabolic state the following will be experienced:
In both genders
- Rapid heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Hand tremors
- Low tolerances for heat
- swelling of the thyroid gland
- hair loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gynaecomastia (Breast development in men)
- Irregular periods/ Weight loss (In women)
What are the complications?
Hyperthyroidism can cause atrial fibrillation, which is arrhythmia that can lead to strokes and congestive heart failure.
The first step is to get complete medical check-up including a physical exam. Other tests include
- Cholesterol test
Low cholesterol can be because of elevated metabolic rate, in which your body is burning cholesterol quickly
- Blood test
A blood test will be conducted to check how much of tetraiodothyronine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) is present in the blood.
- Thyroid scan
To ascertain whether the disorder is of the entire thyroid gland or just a single area of the gland.
An ultrasound test can reveal the size of the gland as well as any masses with it.
Medications such as methimazole stop the thyroid from making excessive hormones.
A section of the thyroid gland will be surgically removed. As surgery is only the first half of treatment, one should be taking thyroid hormone supplements to prevent hypothyroidism (less hormone secretion)
How to prevent it in the future?
Prevention needs a properly balanced diet fortified with calcium and sodium, along with that some exercise and active lifestyle will help prevent this condition.
Ensure that you look out for the symptoms early, as the timely diagnosis can improve the long-term outlook.