The butterfly shaped gland located at the base of the neck, the thyroid gland plays an important role in converting the iodine in the food into thyroid hormones namely T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine).
The tyrosine and iodine combine to produce the thyroid hormones. The body metabolism and conversion of calories into energy are executed by the thyroid gland. Located at the base of the brain is another gland known as the pituitary gland. This gland is responsible for controlling the thyroid hormone production.
When the levels of the hormones produced by the thyroid gland reduce, the pituitary gland releases a stimulant called TSH which regulates the production of the thyroid hormones. When the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of hormones it leads to a condition called hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism leads to an increase in the body metabolic rate. Hyperthyroidism also leads to health problems like inflammation of the thyroid called goiter, Graves disease and toxic thyroid adenoma.
Although the condition of hyperthyroidism affects both men and women it has been noted that women are more prone to hyperthyroidism than men. Let us examine some of the causes and symptoms of hyperthyroidism as also the treatment options that are available. The excessive secretion of the thyroid hormone could be caused by an auto immune disorder wherein certain antibodies which attach themselves to sections of the thyroid gland which normally receives the TSH hormone, from the pituitary gland, send signals for the productions of thyroid hormones.
This leads to excessive production of thyroid hormones and in turn leads to hyperthyroidism. There are several symptoms which a person with hyperthyroidism exhibits. These include irritability, weight loss despite an increase in appetite, anxiety and hyperactivity, increased heart rate, depression, excessive weight loss, sudden tremors, palpitations and shortness of breath, osteoporosis, diarrhea, heat intolerance, excessive sweating , nausea, eyelid retraction, polydipsia or excessive thirst, polyuria or abnormal production of urine, bulging eyes, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, enlargement of the thyroid gland, eyelid retraction and excessive nervousness.
It is imperative that a person is treated for hyperthyroidism as quickly as possible. One of the best ways to detect whether a person is suffering from hyperthyroidism is to go in for a blood test. However if hyperthyroidism has resulted in enlargement of the thyroid gland with lumps present on it, then the patient needs to undergo an ultrasound scan.
There are several ways of managing the problem of hyperthyroidism. However early intervention is needed as otherwise hyperthyroidism can progress to more dangerous health conditions including heart problems like atrial fibrillation and in extreme cases even heart failure. Unchecked hyperthyroidism can also damage the vision. Double vision and sensitivity to light are some of the common eye problems people with untreated hyperthyroidism complain of.
It can also lead to the bones becoming brittle and breaking very easily. There are several ways of treating hyperthyroidism. Taking medication like proplythiouracil and methimazole can control the problem of hyperthyroidism. These drugs have to be taken by the patient on a long term basis but offers much relief. Changes in diet plan and surgery are some of the other ways to treat hyperthyroidism.