Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of one
or more thyroid hormones. The most
common cause of Hyperthyroidism is Graves disease, but the condition can also be
caused by excessive dietary Iodine, thyroiditis, thyroid cancer, pituitary tumors
and toxic nodular goiters. Hyperthyroidism
is most likely to occur in people 20 to 40 years old and is more common in women
than men. In most cases, the prognosis
for people affected with hyperthyroidism is very good as most of the underlying
causes are very treatable (Treatment Options).
(High Top Number)
Fine smooth hair
Warm, moist skin
Thin and Brittle Nails
Intolerance to heat
Inability to Concentrate
Graves disease is an autoimmune condition that causes the Thyroid to over secrete
one or both of the Thyroid hormones T3 and T4.
It accounts for 75% of the instances of Hyperthyroidism and appears to be
caused by a combination of genetic and environment factors.
Contributing environmental factors include infection, traumatic or stressful
experiences and iodine deficiency.
The root cause of Hyperthyroidism with Graves disease is the presence of antibodies
to the TSH receptor. When the antibodies
attach to the TSH receptor, the thyroid is stimulated to produce more Thyroid Hormone.
Thyroiditis is an inflammatory condition caused by viral, bacterial or fungal infections
or by autoimmune processes. The inflammation can be acute, subacute or chronic and
thyroid hormone production may be elevated or low depending on the cause and duration
of the disease. Infectious thyroiditis
may be treatable with antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Autoimmune thyroidits is less treatable
and may be associated with increased risk for other autoimmune diseases like Graves.
Toxic Nodule Goiters
Large Thyroid nodules that produce thyroid hormones outside the body’s thyroid regulatory
processes are called toxic nodule goiters.
Most toxic nodules are benign follicular adenomas and these must be present in either
sufficient number or size to produce enough thyroid hormone to produce a hyperthyroid
state. Toxic nodule goiters affect
men and women equally and are most likely to occur after the age of 40.