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Thyroid (Hyperthyroidism)

DEFINITION:

Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones are those that control your metabolism and also control other processes such as the body’s heart rate, bone and muscle strength, digestion, and cholesterol levels.

 

SYMPTOMS:

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can vary among different ages. These symptoms include: weight loss, loss of appetite, an increased amount of soft stools thinning and loss of hair, anxiety, mood swings, fatigue, and weakness, irregular heartbeat along with inexplicable shortness of breath, extreme sweating, and itchy or warm skin.

 

CAUSES:

One cause of hyperthyroidism is an inflamed thyroid gland, which is called thyroiditis and/or a growth in the thyroid gland, which is called a thyroid nodule.            

However, hyperthyroidism is almost always caused by a condition called Graves’ disease which causes the thyroid gland to create an excessive amount of thyroid hormone, which in turn causes the symptoms of hyperthyroidism listed above. Symptoms of Graves’ disease are as follows: weight loss, diarrhea, fast heart rate, and lack of ability to bear heat. The most known cause of Graves’ disease is severe emotional stress.

 

DIAGNOSIS: 

The diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism can be done by checking the level of thyroid hormones, and by doing a physical of the entire body. 

 

TREATMENT:

Treatment for hyperthyroidism includes radioactive iodine, surgery, and anti-thyroid medication. The results tend to last longer if more than one of these treatments is used. Even after treatment, however, thyroid levels need to be constantly checked to make sure the condition doesn’t come back

 

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