Hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine.
When the thyroid gland is sick, the whole body becomes sick as its action affects many functions of the body. Therefore, it is worth observing your body carefully and in the event of any irregularities, check the level of thyroid hormones.
What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism may indicate other diseases and therefore it may not be diagnosed immediately. It causes various symptoms, so it is impossible to list them all. However, the most common ones include:
- significant weight loss, even if the appetite favors (this symptom is mainly downplayed by women);
- increased appetite
- accelerated heartbeat (pulse up to 200 beats per minute)
- irregular heartbeat
- irritability, nervousness
- shaking hands
- increased sweating
- no menstruation
- fatigue faster
- change in bowel movements
- enlarged thyroid gland – goiter
- dark circles under eyes
- weak hair – falling out
If you have these symptoms of hyperthyroidism (or most of them), be sure to consult a doctor for appropriate tests. Most importantly, you must tell your doctor about your symptoms carefully, as many of them may be related to another disease.
Remember! If you are being treated for thyroid disease, keep your hormone levels checked as they tend to shift from overactive to underactive and vice versa.
The causes of hyperthyroidism
The condition in the production of hormones can be caused by many diseases, for example: Gravers’ disease, Plummer’s disease or thyroiditis.
The thyroid gland produces the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which influence many processes in your body. They regulate metabolism, control body temperature, influence the heartbeat, regulate protein production. The thyroid gland also produces a hormone that optimizes calcium levels (calcitonin).
High thyroxine (T4) value
Various diseases can also cause elevated levels of this hormone and contribute to the development of an overactive thyroid gland.
It’s an autoimmune disease. The antibodies produced by our immune system stimulate the thyroid gland to produce more T4. This disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism.
These are toxic thyroid nodules, otherwise also known as multinodular goiter or adenoma. This happens when one or more adenomas produce large amounts of thyroxine. Adenoma is formed by the part of the thyroid gland that has separated from the remaining gland. Small lumps form that cause a larger thyroid gland.
Inflammation of the thyroid gland
It happens most often in women after pregnancy. The causes of inflammation are not fully known. Thyroid hormones enter the blood. This can make some people feel painful.
Hyperthyroidism – risk factors
It is mainly a genetic issue. If your family has a history of thyroid related disease, there is a good chance that you will also get sick (in this case, if a family history of Graves’ disease). Other factors include:
- type 1 diabetes
- adrenal insufficiency
Hyperthyroidism can cause many complications.
Heart problems – these are one of the most dangerous complications. These include increased heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias, and heart failure. All of this can lead to a stroke, so this should not be underestimated.
Brittleness of bones – Our bones may weaken as a result of untreated hyperthyroidism. So we have a greater susceptibility to all kinds of fractures. This is due to problems with the absorption of calcium into the bones.
Eye problems – With Graves’ disease, the eyes may be swollen, dark circles and vision may deteriorate. The person also has problems with visual quality – double vision, blurred vision. If left untreated, they can even lead to complete blindness.
Swollen skin – This symptom is rare, but it can happen. The skin, especially on the calves, may be red and swollen.
Tarotoxic breakthrough – manifested by fever, rapid pulse. If you experience these symptoms, see a doctor quickly.
Hyperthyroidism – treatment
Treatment is mainly based on the patient’s taking hormonal drugs, the main purpose of which is to slow down the production of thyroxine. Such drugs in their composition include:
- thiamazole – Tyrozol, Metizol
- propylthiouracil – Thyrosan
Radioactive iodine is also used in the treatment. It is served in a capsule. After entering the body, iodine is absorbed into the thyroid gland and destroys overactive tissue.
The treatment also includes surgery to remove the gland.
Thyroid hormones – normal values
In order to test whether our thyroid is functioning well, we need to do a blood test to determine the level of hormones. The correct values are shown below.
TSH 0.3 – 4.0 mU/l
FT4 8 – 20 ng\l
FT3 3.5 – 8 ng/l
Proper diet is also important in hyperthyroidism. Here are the food rules to follow:
- avoid hot spices – pepper, chili, curry
- try to limit hard-to-digest products – cabbage, nuts
- eat calcium-containing products – yoghurt, milk
- try to eat fish once a week
It is worth remembering to regularly check the level of thyroid hormones so that in the event of any abnormalities, prompt, appropriate treatment is initiated.