Hyperthyroidism (Overactive thyroid)
Over activity of the thyroid gland leads to increased metabolism in every body system. This can occur due to inflammation of the thyroid or it can be due to growth of the thyroid. Growth of some nodules within the thyroid can cause hyperthyroidism, as can autoimmune diseases such as Graves’ disease. This can lead to weight loss, changes in hair and nails, diarrhea, heart palpitations, anxiety, insomnia, and occasionally fatigue. The overactivity can also leading to bone and muscle loss. You can experience increased heart rate and blood pressure which can sometimes lead to abnormal heart rhythms. If you have a condition known as Graves’ disease, you could have pain in your eyes with swelling in the muscles of the eyes and changes in vision.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Hyperthyroidism
Once hyperthyroidism is suspected, blood tests are done to determine the level of overactivity. Medications are used to control symptoms and reduce the amount of thyroid hormones in the blood stream. This usually improves how a patient feels, and occasionally cures the problem. Depending on the reason that hyperthyroidism has occurred, either radioactive iodine ablation treatment or surgery may be recommended. To help guide treatment, tests such as a thyroid ultrasound or thyroid scan may be recommended.