Are you concerned that you might have hyperthyroidism? Your thyroid is a gland in the front of your neck and it plays an important role in the pace of your body processes, also known as metabolism. So if your body has too much thyroid hormone, or hyperthyroidism, you may have some of these symptoms: nervousness, irritability, anxiety, weakness in your muscles, sweating, a racing heart, trouble sleeping, thinning in your skin, weight loss, goiter (an enlarged thyroid), or eyes that look enlarged.
What causes hyperthyroidism?
It has several causes, including Graves’ disease, inflammation of the thyroid, and thyroid nodules. The most common cause is Graves’ disease, which results in your immune system attacking the gland and causes it to produce too much thyroid hormone. Graves’ disease can run in families and young women usually have it more frequently.
How can hyperthyroidism be diagnosed and treated?
A doctor can do a simple exam to see if your thyroid gland is enlarged and you have a rapid pulse. Other signs include a tremor in your fingers and smooth, moist skin. You can also have a blood test to see if the levels of thyroid hormones are elevated.
Hyperthyroidism treatment varies depending on your age, the type and severity of hyperthyroidism, other health issues, and your preferences. According to the American Thyroid Association, here are some common types of treatment:
- Antithyroid drugs: Your doctor may decide to prescribe an antithyroid medication such as methimazole (Tapazole) that blocks the thyroid from producing new hormones. These types of drugs can control an overactive thyroid and don’t cause permanent damage to the thyroid.
- Radioactive iodine:This treatment damages or destroys cells that make the thyroid hormone and causes the thyroid to shrink and lowers the amount of thyroid in the blood so it returns to a normal level. Radioactive iodine has been used for more than 60 years to treat those with hyperthyroidism and is generally considered safe.
- Surgery:A doctor removes all or most of the thyroid gland and this can provide a permanent cure for hyperthyroidism. To ensure your thyroid hormone level stays normal, you may need to take a thyroid hormone supplement.
- Beta-blockers: These drugs can help to ease some symptoms of hyperthyroidism, including a fast heart rate, tremor, and palpitations.
- Exercise regularly and learn relaxation techniques.This can help you to feel better and improve your physical and emotional well-being.
Looking for hyperthyroidism treatment?
You can find expert endocrinologists at Crystal Run Healthcare in their Middletown, Monroe, Goshen, Warwick, Rock Hill, West Nyack and New York City offices. To find addresses and phone numbers, visit www.crystalrunhealthcare.com/specialties/thyroid-treatment.