How Is Hyperthyroidism Treated
Your doctors choice of treatment will depend on your symptoms and the cause of your hyperthyroidism. Treatments include:
- Antithyroid medicines block your thyroid from making new thyroid hormone. These drugs do not cause lasting damage to the thyroid.
- Beta-blockers block the effects of thyroid hormone on your body. These medicines can be helpful in slowing your heart rate and treating other symptoms until one of the other forms of treatment can take effect. Beta-blockers do not reduce the amount of thyroid hormones that are made.
Thyroid Cancer: What Women Should Know
The symptoms start slowly. Fatigue is the most common. There might bechanges in hair, nails or skin, and other vague complaints that could becaused by aging, diet, stress or dozens of other factors.
Women in the prime of their lives, busy with work and families, may noteven notice. When a doctor finally diagnoses an underactivethyroiddue to cancer, it often comes as a shock.
Jonathon Russell, M.D., assistant professor ofOtolaryngology Head and Neck Surgeryat The Johns Hopkins Hospital, says, Typicalthyroid cancerpatients are women between the ages of 30 and 60younger than many peoplewould think. Theyre likely to put off getting seen by a doctor and mayblame their symptoms on other causes.
The Lowdown On Thyroid Slowdown
Hypothyroidism can cause a host of health problems. Fortunately, an underactive thyroid can be easily diagnosed and treated.
Midlife can bring subtle changes in our skin, hair, energy, weight, and even mental outlook. Before writing them off as products of aging, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re not the result of an underactive thyroid.
This tiny butterfly-shaped gland influences virtually every organ system in the body. The hormones it secretes into the bloodstream play a vital role in regulating metabolism the rate at which our bodies convert food and oxygen to energy.
Low thyroid hormone production, or hypothyroidism, causes a range of symptoms, such as fatigue, constipation, dry skin and brittle nails, aches and pains, and feeling down.; You might ;easily attribute hypothyroidism symptoms to other health problems.
Moreover, hypothyroidism is especially common in women. Between ages 35 and 65, about 13% of women will have an underactive thyroid, and the proportion rises to 20% among those over 65. Because the link between hypothyroidism symptoms and thyroid disease isn’t always obvious, especially in older people, many women won’t know they have an underactive thyroid and won’t be treated for it.
Recommended Reading: How To Control Weight Gain With An Underactive Thyroid
Depression And Brain Fog
Finally, because your body cant use energy as efficiently, your nervous system slows down. Combined with the feelings of fatigue, you can feel sluggish, experience mood swings, and see signs of depression. Patients who receive hormone replacement therapy usually report improvement for depressive symptoms.
Anatomy Of Thyroid Function
The thyroid gland produces and stores hormones that regulate metabolism: Too much hormone production and the body goes into overdrive; too little and it bogs down.
The two most important thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine , are made from the iodine in foods such as salt, seafood, bread, and milk. Both hormones travel from the thyroid via the bloodstream to distant parts of the body, including the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, bones, and skin, where they activate genes that regulate body functions.
Normally, the thyroid gland releases T3 and T4 when the hypothalamus senses that their circulating levels have dropped. The hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland, which sends thyroid-stimulating hormone to the thyroid to trigger the release of thyroid hormones. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland doesn’t respond fully to TSH, so not enough T3 and T4 reach the body’s organs, and functions begin to slow. The pituitary releases more and more TSH in an effort to stimulate thyroid hormone production. That’s why TSH levels in the blood are high when thyroid function is low.
Don’t Miss: What Makes Thyroid Levels Go Up
Thyroid Cancer: Common In Women
Thyroid disorders are more common in women, probably due to the roles of hormones, which are different in femalesthan in males.
Thyroid nodules, Russell says, affect up to 80 percent of women, but only 5percent to 15 percent of those lumps and bumps are malignant. Bettertesting means thyroid tumors are on the rise, he notes, saying that itsprojected to become the third most common cancer.
Malignant and cancer are scary words, but Russell says that mostthyroid cancer is highly treatable, even when the cancer cells spread tonearby lymph nodes, which occurs frequently.
With thyroid cancer we talk about prognosis in terms of 20-year survivalinstead of five years, as we do with most other cancers. Its usually aslow-moving disease. Theres a 98 to 99 percent survival rate at 20 years,he says.
We treat it almost like a chronic condition where the patient getstreatment and visits her doctor regularly for follow-up.
What Are The Complications Of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism can contribute to high cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol, you should get tested for hypothyroidism. Rarely, severe untreated hypothyroidism may lead to myxedema coma, an extreme form of hypothyroidism in which the bodys functions slow to a life-threatening point. Myxedema coma requires immediate medical treatment.
You May Like: Why Does Hair Fall Out With Thyroid Problems
When To Contact Your Doctor
If youve checked off signs and are not feeling yourself, discuss this with your primary care doctor. These signs dont necessarily mean that you have thyroid disease. By asking you about your symptoms, your doctor can decide whether you need a blood test to check for thyroid disease.
Have a skin, hair, or nail problem?
Discover the benefits of seeing a dermatologist.
ImagesImage 1: Getty ImagesImages 2, 3, 4: Used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Jun;48:970-2.
ReferencesAi J, Leonhardt JM, et al. Autoimmune thyroid diseases: etiology, pathogenesis, and dermatologic manifestations. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003;48:641-59.
Anderson CK, Miller OF. Triad of exophthalmos, pretibial myxedema, and acropachy in a patient with Graves’ disease. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003;48:970-2.
Bae JM, Lee JH, et al. Vitiligo and overt thyroid diseases: A nationwide population-based study in Korea. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017;76:871-8.
Callen JP. Dermatologic manifestations in patients with systemic disease. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, Spain, 2008: 681-2.
Kalus AA, Chien AJ, et al. Diabetes mellitus and other endocrine diseases. In Wolff K et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill, China, 2008:1470-4.
What Are The Types Of Thyroiditis
- Hashimotos thyroiditis: an autoimmune condition caused by anti-thyroid antibodies. This is the most common form of thyroiditis and is around five times more common in women than in men. Hashimotos thyroiditis usually results in hypothyroidism, and thyroid hormone replacement treatment is needed.
- Silent thyroiditis or painless thyroiditis: another autoimmune disease caused by anti-thyroid antibodies. It is also common in women and the next common cause after Hashimotos thyroiditis.
- Post-partum thyroiditis: an autoimmune condition caused by anti-thyroid antibodies that sometimes occurs shortly after a woman gives birth
- Radiation-induced thyroiditis: a condition caused by external radiation used as a medical treatment for certain cancers, or by radioactive iodine used to treat hyperthyroidism
- Subacute thyroiditis or de Quervains thyroiditis: an often painful condition thought to be caused by a virus
- Acute thyroiditis or suppurative thyroiditis: a relatively rare condition caused by an infectious organism or bacterium
- Drug-induced thyroiditis: a condition is caused by the use of drugs such as amiodarone, interferons, lithium, and cytokines. It only occurs in a small fraction of patients using the offending drugs, so it is not common in the normal population.
Recommended Reading: Can Soy Milk Affect Your Thyroid
Diet And Overactive Thyroid
You dont need to follow any special diet if you have an overactive thyroid, just aim to eat healthily. After youve had treatment, you might want to consider what and how much you eat. For tips and advice about healthy eating and portion sizes, see our section: Related information. While your thyroid was producing too much hormone, you may have felt hungry and eaten more to keep your weight up. After your treatment, you may need to eat less to avoid putting on weight.
If Part Of My Thyroid Is Surgically Removed Will The Other Part Be Able To Make Enough Thyroid Hormones To Keep Me Off Of Medication
Sometimes, your surgeon may be able to remove part of your thyroid and leave the other part so that it can continue to create and release thyroid hormones. This is most likely in situations where you have a nodule thats causing your thyroid problem. About 75% of people who have only one side of the thyroid removed are able to make enough thyroid hormone after surgery without hormone replacement therapy.
Also Check: Is Ginger And Garlic Good For Thyroid
Why Your Thyroid Hormone Levels May Be Fluctuating
If you have thyroid disease, you may experience some fluctuations in your thyroid hormone levels from time to time. These fluctuations can occur as your thyroid disease progresses, but other factors, such hormonal changes, and medication variations, can alter your thyroid hormone levels as well, producing a variety of symptoms.
Diagnosis Of Overactive Thyroid
Your GP will ask about your symptoms and examine you. They may ask you about your medical history and if anyone in your family has an overactive thyroid gland.
If your GP thinks you may have an overactive thyroid, theyll ask you to have one or more blood tests. This is to check the level of thyroid hormones in your body. The main hormones measured in blood tests are:
- TSH , which is made by your pituitary gland to control your thyroid gland
- FT4 free T4
- FT3 free T3
You may hear these blood tests referred to as thyroid function tests. If you have an overactive thyroid, youll have a low TSH level with a high FT4 level and a high FT3 level.
If the results of the blood tests show you have an overactive thyroid, your GP will refer you to see a specialist. This will be an endocrinologist, a doctor who specialises in treating hormone problems such as thyroid conditions.
You May Like: What Kind Of Doctor Tests Thyroid
Surgical Removal Of Your Thyroid
If your entire thyroid gland is removed as a result of thyroid problems, youll develop hypothyroidism. Using thyroid medication for the rest of your life is the primary treatment.
If only a portion of the gland is removed, your thyroid may still be able to produce enough hormones on its own. Blood tests will help determine how much thyroid medication youll need.
What Is A Thyroid Storm Or Thyroid Crisis
When it happens suddenly, but this is uncommon.Goiter is excessive tissue growth of the thyroid and occurs when the thyroid gland has been exposed to too much thyroid-stimulating hormone or human chorionic gonadotropin , Causes, move fast and go to the bathroom frequently, I do feel some pain throughout the neck and I also have an itchy sensation onThe symptoms of thyroid cancer include: a lump in your neck, And yes, Ive tried everything.You can not tell if a thyroid nodule is malignant due to symptoms or lack of symptoms, such as the inability to concentrate, all of whom immediately think Thyroid when I describe my symptoms, even when your treatment is at the right dose, pain, they will confirm or rule out autoimmune thyroid disease and B12 or folate deficiency or low levels.
Recommended Reading: How To Stop Thyroid Hair Fall
Myth: Thyroid Disease Is Easy To Treat
Fact: Thyroid conditions arent “easy” to treat, but treatment isnt that complicated either, says Dr. Fink. She says most people with thyroid disease are prescribed medication to replace T4, one type of thyroid hormone that a faulty thyroid is unable to produce on its own. Then, the thyroid gland is able to convert the T4 into T3, the other needed hormone, on its owneven in someone with a thyroid condition.
Dr. Fink says patients only encounter problems when they ask for a T3 medication, too. A lot of stuff online talks about giving T3 and it gets very complicated because when you give someone the T3. It goes in the body and comes almost straight out, she says. It almost gives people a high, and lot of people can get addicted to it. To make matters worse, Dr. Fink says T3 prescriptions can lower the thyroids ability to produce T4 on its own, resulting in an overactive thyroid.
How Is Hypothyroidism Diagnosed And What Is Subclinical Hypothyroidism
Unfortunately, you cant diagnose yourself with a thyroid condition, be it hypothyroidism or subclinical hypothyroidism, which is when the thyroid gland is still producing sufficient thyroid hormones but some blood test levels may be abnormal.
This is important because many symptoms of hypothyroidism may be harmless , be related to other health conditions, or simply signal regular signs of aging .
For example, weight gain doesnt necessarily mean you have a thyroid problem, and achy muscles or joints may just be a sign that youre getting older. The best way your doctor can determine if you have hypothyroidism is through a blood test.
Recommended Reading: What Causes An Enlarged Thyroid On One Side
Changes In Menstrual Cycle Or Sexual Performance
Hormonal changes are closely linked to sexual function. If you find that your period is becoming irregular, heavier, or more painful than before, or if you are experiencing stronger emotional symptoms tied to PMS, your thyroid might be the cause.
You might also experience difficulty with sexual performance or enjoyment. If you are having difficulty with libido or achieving orgasm or if you cannot maintain an erection, you could also be struggling with a thyroid-related symptom.
While these are uncomfortable issues to talk about, they should absolutely be addressed with us to rule out not only thyroid trouble but also anything else that might quietly be causing these issues.
Myth: Removing Metallic Foods And Elements From Your Diet Can Alleviate Thyroid Problems
Fact: Avoiding processed foods is always a smart move, says Dr. Fink. At the same time, theres no convincing research that suggests you need to obsess over the metals youre consuming, so dont toss your copper and steel pots and pans just yet.
The same goes for those silver fillings your dentist put in your mouth: I cant say based on what I know now that this will predispose you to a thyroid condition. I wouldnt suggest going to the dentist and getting your fillings removed for this purpose, says Dr. Fink.
Don’t Miss: Can Birth Control Cause Thyroid Nodules
Signs That Warrant An Immediate Trip To A Doctor
Some common cancer signs that should result in a visit to the emergency room or to a doctor as soon as possible include:
- coughing up mucus tinged with blood
- blood in stools or urine
- lump in the breast, testicles, under the arm, or anywhere that it didnt exist before
- unexplained but noticeable weight loss
- severe unexplained pain in the head, neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis
These and other signs and symptoms will be evaluated. Screenings, such as blood and urine tests and imaging tests, will be used if your doctor thinks its appropriate.
These tests are done both to help make a diagnosis as well as rule out various causes of your signs and symptoms.
When seeing a doctor, be prepared to share the following information:
- your personal medical history, including all symptoms you have experienced, as well as when they began
- family history of cancer or other chronic conditions
- list of all medications and supplements you take
Can You Have Covid
Yes. Symptoms of COVID-19 usually show up from two to 14 days after exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, but some people who are infected do not develop symptoms or feel ill. This is why it is so important to wear a face mask and practice physical distancing and hand hygiene. People can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and not realize it, but still be able to transmit it to other people.
Also Check: How Do You Know If You Have Thyroid
Who Is Affected By Thyroid Disease
Thyroid disease can affect anyone men, women, infants, teenagers and the elderly. It can be present at birth and it can develop as you age .
Thyroid disease is very common, with an estimated 20 million people in the Unites States having some type of thyroid disorder. A woman is about five to eight times more likely to be diagnosed with a thyroid condition than a man.
You may be at a higher risk of developing a thyroid disease if you:
- Have a family history of thyroid disease.
- Have a medical condition .
- Take a medication thats high in iodine .
- Are older than 60, especially in women.
- Have had treatment for a past thyroid condition or cancer .
Symptoms Of Overactive Thyroid
Overactive thyroid symptoms can vary you might just have mild symptoms or they may be severe. Your symptoms can depend on your age and on whats causing your overactive thyroid. And how bad your symptoms are doesnt always reflect how high your thyroid hormones are. For example, you may feel fairly well even if your thyroid hormones are quite high.
The main symptoms of overactive thyroid include:
- feeling tired with weak muscles
- feeling hot and less able to cope with heat
- losing weight without intending to
- feeling hungry and eating more than is usual for you
- losing your hair, which may become generally sparse
- in women, irregular or no periods
- in men, less interest in having sex and swollen breast tissue
If you have any of these symptoms, contact your GP.
Some people with overactive thyroid get problems with their eyes. For more information about this, see our FAQ: Can an overactive thyroid gland cause eye problems?
With our GP services, we aim to give you an appointment the same day, subject to availability. Find out more about our GP services >
You May Like: How Long Does It Take To Get Thyroid Test Results