Resembling a butterfly, the thyroid gland is located at the base of the neck just below the Adam’s apple, with the main function of producing and storing hormones to carry out essential tasks like regulating heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and metabolic rate. To help produce the hormones, the thyroid needs iodine taken from foods and iodized salt.
A hyperthyroid means having an excessive production of hormones due to an overactive thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism, the medical term for its condition is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Palpitations and cardiac murmur.
- Muscle weakness
- Weight loss
- Trembling of muscles
- Hair loss
- Irregular menstruation period among women.
- Frequency in bowel movements.
What are the Causes of Hyperthyroid
The thyroid gland is an essential component of the endocrine system, which has the task of releasing hormones into the bloodstream.
- Graves’ disease. Considered an autoimmune disease, the Graves’ disease is technically an overactive thyroid due to the loss of the thyroid’s natural ability to respond to the control maintained by the pituitary gland through the latter’s TSH.
- Toxic Multinodular Goiter and Functioning Adenoma. As people grow older, their thyroid gland becomes lumpier. In most cases, the lumps do not produce hormones and do not require any treatment. In other cases however, a nodule becomes autonomous and produces hormones on its own. Such case is called functioning nodule. If two or more nodules become functional, the term toxic or multinodular goiter is used.
- Abnormal secretion of TSH.
- Thyroiditis. This is an inflammation of the thyroid caused by a viral disease.
- Excessive iodine intake
- Excessive intake of thyroid hormone medication.
Hyperthyroidism is rarely life-threatening. Sometimes, the symptoms may just go away without a treatment. Other times, it requires medications depending on its severity and causes. If the hyperthyroid is due to a Graves’ disease, the symptoms may worsen over time and complications may become inevitable. In most cases, hyperthyroidism is given the following treatments:
- Anti-thyroid medications.
- Surgery to remove the thyroid gland.
- Radioactive iodine to destroy the thyroid gland.
- Beta-blockers to regulate the heart rate.