Hyperthyroidism

 



Symptoms

  
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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).

         

Hyperthyroid Symptoms


Cardiovascular


Rapid pulse

Heart Murmurs

Systolic Hypertension (High Top Number)

Palpitations

Angina


Skin/Hair


Hair Loss

Fine smooth hair

Early Graying

Warm, moist skin

Vitiligo

Thin and Brittle Nails

Gastrointestinal


Weight Loss

Increased Appetite

Diarrhea


Other


Exophthalmos

Goiter

Intolerance to heat

Fatigue

Muscle Weakness

Menstrual irregularities

Amenorrhea

Osteoporosis

Impotence

Edema

Decreased Fertility

Gynecomastia (men)

Nervous System


Nervousness

Fine Tremor

Restlessness

Exhaustion

Inability to Concentrate

Hyperreflexia

Insomnia

Depression

Apathy


 


Graves Disease

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

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.

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