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Hyperthyroidism or active thyroid – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland at the base of your neck and below Adam’s Apple and close to the collar bones. The wings are connected in the middle and spread on each side of wind pipe. Thyroid gland controls the rate at which every cell, tissue and organ in the body functions from your muscles, bones and skin to your digestive tract, brain, heart and more.

Thyroid secretes hormones T3 which is called thyroxine and T4 which is called triidothyronine. They control how fast and efficiently cells convert nutrients into energy. Thyroid gland is controlled by pituitary gland and it produces a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and it pushes the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones in balancing quantities.

Hyperthyroidism or active thyroid is the result from excess production of thyroid hormones particularly T3. The increased level of T3 pushes up the body’s metabolism which is the main reason for losing weight despite eating well.

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
– Anxiety
– Fast heart rate
– Nervousness
– Irritability
– Muscle weakness
– Weight loss
– Hair loss
– Trembling hands
– Moist warm skin
– Heart intolerance
– Frequency of bowel movements increase
– Less or decreases menstrual flow
– Painful enlarged thyroid gland

Causes of Hyperthyroidism
– Hyperactive thyroid nodules
– Graves disease affecting people between age 30 and 50.
– Thyroiditis which is the inflammation of thyroid gland releasing excessive hormones and it is caused by virus.
– Over stimulated pituitary gland which produces too much TSH.
– Excessive iodine in the form of iodised salt, sea food, dairy products.
– Thyrotoxicosis is taking too much thyroid hormone while treating for hyperthyroidism.

Treatment for Hyperthyroidism
– Anti thyroid drugs interfere with gland’s ability to make T3 and T4 but they are accompanied by side effects like rash, itching, fever and very rarely liver inflammation and deficiency of white blood cells.
– Beta blockers to prevent symptoms of palpitations and tremors.
– Radioactive iodine treatment is done to damage and kill thyroid cells. The only side effect is the destruction of thyroid tissues.
– Surgery of land or nodules.

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