It may shock you to know that hyperthyroidism affects two to five percent of all women ranging between 20 and 40 years old. The chances of getting diagnosed only increase further with age. The goal of this post is to help you learn the causes and symptoms as well as the various forms of hyperthyroidism treatment.
Your thyroid and you
The thyroid is a gland which is located below the thyroid cartilage in the front party of the neck. This gland is responsible for producing thyroid hormones. These hormones regulate the metabolism of our body. The thyroid hormones also affect the energy levels of our body. Growth and maturation of the tissue of the body is also controlled by these hormones.
The thyroid gland is primarily affected by two types of conditions. Either it produces too little hormone or it produces too much hormone. When the thyroid gland produces too little hormone it is known as hypothyroidism. When the thyroid gland produces too much hormone one is diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. While we tend to focus on hypothyroidism, this article will focus on hyperthyroidism. We have written another article that discusses the differences between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Feel free to check it out to learn more information about the two conditions.
What causes hyperthyroidism?
The most common cause of the hyperthyroidism is Grave’s disease. Grave’s disease constitute three distinct parts like:
- Swelling around the eyes due to inflammation in the tissue
- Thickening of the skin over the lower legs
- Over activity of the thyroid gland
Due to grave’s disease a person may suffer from severe eye problems. The most common of which are severe inflammation, blurred vision, double vision and bulging of the eyes. Inflammation of the thyroid gland can also be the cause of hyperthyroidism. Sometimes hyperthyroidism may be caused due to childbirth. It can also occur when any person takes thyroid hormones in any form in an excessive quantity.
Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism tends to cause swelling of the thyroid gland. This results in an individual suffering from a swollen neck, which is also known as goiter. Usually this swelling is soft but sometimes it may be lumpy and hard.
Some common signs of hyperthyroidism include the following.
- Intolerance to heat
- Fast heart beat
- Loss of hair
- Staring gaze
- Moist and warm skin
- Weakness of muscle
- Loss in weight
- Trembling hands
- Heart palpitations
- Increase in bowel movements
- Missing or very light menstrual period
Usually patients of hyperthyroidism are unaware of the problem. The symptoms are usually very slow and gradual. In some cases, people do not suffer from any of the symptoms. Typically the person will undergo a loss of weight and feel depressed.
Hyperthyroidism Treatment can vary
Once diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, a doctor will often try medication as a means of hyperthyroidism treatment. Often they will treat hyperthyroidism by prescribing anti-thyroid medications. These drugs attempt to prevent the thyroid from producing excess hormones. The biggest issue with this hyperthyroidism treatment is that hormone levels vary from person to person. The hormones are hard to judge when it comes to how many are needed for the proper function of the body.
Another form of hyperthyroidism treatment revolves around taking radioactive iodine. The goal of this hyperthyroidism treatment is to breakdown the thyroid gland so that it cannot produce as many hormones. This treatment has been found to actually cure hyperthyroidism in some people.
A final option for people suffering from hyperthyroidism revolves around surgery. Having a procedure done known as a thyroidectomy can help with an over active thyroid. This procedure actually removes all or part of the thyroid. This results in either needing medication to provide thyroid hormones to your body. In cases where partial removal is possible, it may cure hyperthyroidism as well. This form of hyperthyroidism treatment is usually a last resort when other means of treating the issue have not worked.
As you work on getting your thyroid healthy, you will begin to notice differences in the way that you feel. This can come in both mental and physical changes. Often, depression begins to fade away. A sense of well-being returns as the thyroid begins to function properly. As with recovering from any medical issue, your body and mind will adjust over time to the benefits from a properly functioning thyroid. Whether you have an under active thyroid, or suffer from hyperthyroidism there is treatment available. As mentioned in other thread, we believe in both medical treatment as well as alternative dietary treatments for improving thyroid health. For those suffering from hypothyroidism, the “Hypothyroidism Revolution” book is an amazing natural guide to healing. It is definitely worth a read as it can prevent costly medication from being required for the rest of your life.