Is Hyperthyroidism The Same Thing As Thyrotoxicosis
Hyperthyroidism is a type of thyrotoxicosis. Hyperthyroidism happens specifically when your thyroid gland both produces and releases excess thyroid hormone. Thyrotoxicosis happens when you have too much thyroid hormone in your body in general. You could have too much thyroid hormone by taking too much thyroid medication, for example. This would be thyrotoxicosis, not hyperthyroidism.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Getting a new diagnosis can be stressful. The good news is that hyperthyroidism is a manageable and treatable condition. If youre experiencing symptoms of hyperthyroidism or have certain risk factors, such as a family history of Graves disease, be sure to contact your healthcare provider. They can have you undergo some simple tests to see if your thyroid is making too much thyroid hormone.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/19/2021.
Feeling Colder Than Usual
Feeling cold is a common symptom of an iodine deficiency.
In fact, some studies have found that over 80% of people with low thyroid hormone levels may feel more sensitive to cold temperatures than usual .
Since iodine is used to make thyroid hormones, an iodine deficiency can cause your thyroid hormone levels to plummet.
Given that thyroid hormones help control the speed of your metabolism, low thyroid hormone levels may cause it to slow down. A slower metabolism generates less heat, which may cause you to feel colder than usual .
Also, thyroid hormones help boost the activity of your brown fat, a type of fat that specializes in generating heat. This means that low thyroid hormone levels, which may be caused by an iodine deficiency, could prevent brown fat from doing its job .
Iodine helps generate body heat, so low levels of it may leave you feeling colder than usual.
Signs Of A Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Before considering vitamin B12 injections or taking a higher amount of these supplements, it is important to note that there are certain signs that may signal a deficiency of this nutrient. When these signs are not present, it is generally not advised to take more than what is recommended. Furthermore, a doctor can also conduct blood tests to determine if a person may have an actual deficiency of vitamin B12.
Below, we share some of the most important signs that a vitamin B12 deficiency may be present3:
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hyperthyroidism
At first, you might not notice the signs or symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Symptoms usually begin slowly. But, over time, a faster metabolism can cause symptoms such as:
- Weight loss, even if you eat the same or more food
- Eating more than usual
- Diarrhea or more bowel movements than normal
- Fewer and lighter menstrual periods than normal
- Changes in your eyes that can include bulging of the eyes, redness, or irritation
Hyperthyroidism raises your risk for osteoporosis, a condition that causes weak bones that break easily. In fact, hyperthyroidism might affect your bones before you have any of the other symptoms of the condition. This is especially true of women who have gone through menopause or who are already at high risk of osteoporosis.
When To Call A Doctor
In most cases, problems with your thyroid arent an emergency. If you feel you have some of the symptoms above, you can simply make an appointment with your doctor to discuss testing and treatment options. However, you should call your doctor immediately if:
- Youre very drowsy, cold, and lethargic. This could be the start of a myxedema coma, which is caused by hypothyroidism that eventually leads to unconsciousness and in some cases death.
- You have a rapid pulse, accompanied by a fever, agitation, or delirium. This can indicate thyrotoxic crisis, a complication of hyperthyroidism.
Its not always easy to know if you have a problem with your thyroid. Knowing some of the common symptoms of an underactive or overactive thyroid will help give you an idea of you need to talk to your doctor.
Talk with your primary care provider about testing and treatment of thyroid issues. They may refer you to an endocrinologist or thyroid specialist for follow-up care.
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Milder Forms Of Hypothyroidism Are Harder To Diagnose
Although the majority of cases of hypothyroidism will be easy to diagnose with these simple blood tests, many millions of people will have this disease in mild to moderate forms which are more difficult to diagnose. The solution for these patients is more complex and this is due to several factors.
First, we must realize that not all people with hypothyroidism are the same. There are many degrees of this disorder from very severe to very mild. Additionally, and very importantly, we cannot always predict just how bad an individual patient will feel just by examining his or her thyroid hormone levels. Blood levels have normal ranges, but other factors need to be taken into account as well, such as the presence or absence of symptoms.
In other words, some patients with what would be considered mild deviations in their thyroid laboratory test results will feel just fine while others will be quite symptomatic. The degree of thyroid hormone abnormalities often, but NOT ALWAYS, will correlate with the degree of symptoms.
It is important for both you and your physician to keep this in mind since the goal is not necessarily to make the lab tests go into the normal range, but to make you feel better as well! We must also keep in mind that even the normal thyroid hormone levels in the blood have a fairly large range, so even if a patient is in the normal range for the general population, it may not be the normal level for them.
Can Hyperthyroidism Be Cured
Yes, there is a permanent treatment for hyperthyroidism. Removing your thyroid through surgery or destroying your thyroid through medication will cure hyperthyroidism. However, once your thyroid is removed or destroyed, youll need to take thyroid hormone replacement medications for the rest of your life. Your body still needs thyroid hormones, just not at such high levels as you have in hyperthyroidism. Though you’ll need to take the medication and check in with your healthcare provider regularly, this is a manageable form of thyroid disease.
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What Are The Types Of Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer is classified based on the type of cells from which the cancer grows. Thyroid cancer types include:
- Papillary: Up to 80% of all thyroid cancers are papillary. This cancer type grows slowly. Although papillary thyroid cancer often spreads to lymph nodes in the neck, the disease responds very well to treatment. Papillary thyroid cancer is highly curable and rarely fatal.
- Follicular: Follicular thyroid cancer accounts for up to 15% of thyroid cancer diagnoses. This cancer is more likely to spread to bones and organs, like the lungs. Metastatic cancer can be more challenging to treat.
- Medullary: About 2% of thyroid cancers are medullary. A quarter of people with medullary thyroid cancer have a family history of the disease. A faulty gene may be to blame.
- Anaplastic: This aggressive thyroid cancer is the hardest type to treat. It can grow quickly and often spreads into surrounding tissue and other parts of the body. This rare cancer type accounts for about 2% of thyroid cancer diagnoses.
Fatigue Weight Gain And Hair Loss From Thyroid Problems
Selenium is essential for thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism. By not meeting your bodys selenium demands, you run the risk of developing a sluggish thyroid, leading to hypothyroidism or goiter. This typically happens in combination with an iodine deficiency. Symptoms of a thyroid problem include these signs and symptoms:11
- Hair loss
- Abnormal ECGs, which measure the electrical activity of the heart
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Personal And Family History And Physical Exam
Its important to give your physician as many details as possible about your personal medical history, as well as your family history. Be sure to discuss:
Your general state of health particularly any changes you have noticed in your general overall health.
Your familys health history especially if a close relative has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or any other thyroid-related issues.
Whether youve ever had thyroid surgery or radiation to your neck to treat cancer.
Any medicines you may be taking that could cause hypothyroidism .
In addition to going over your history and medications, your physician will perform a thorough examination to look for physical signs of hypothyroidism, including:
Evidence of dry skin
Swelling around the eyes and legs
Slower heart rate
What Are The Symptoms Of Goiter
The main symptoms of goiter include:
- A swelling in the front of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple
- A feeling of tightness in the throat area
- Dizziness when the arms are raised above the head
Other, less common symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
Some people who have a goiter may also have hyperthyroidism,or overactive thyroid. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include:
- An increased resting pulse rate
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sweating without exercise or increased room temperature
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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.
Diagnosing Hypothyroidism In Cats
If you believe your cat is suffering from hypothyroidism, it is vital that you make an appointment with a licensed veterinarian. When you are at your appointment with your veterinarian, they will likely begin by getting a complete medical history of your cat, including any medical conditions or treatments they have had, their age, their overall health, and the duration and severity of their symptoms. Since hypothyroidism in cats is rare, it is important to provide your veterinarian with a detailed and thorough history of your catâs health prior to displaying symptoms. This will help them to establish a baseline of your catâs normal health, which they can then compare to their current symptoms to determine which symptoms are a significant departure from their normal health.
The veterinarian will often weigh your cat during this initial discussion, and then they will begin to conduct their physical examination. During the physical examination, they will assess a number of different external physical features and aspects of your cat to assess what may be causing their symptoms and to determine what further testing they will need to make a diagnosis.
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Possible Complications Of A Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Recognizing a deficiency in vitamin B12 is very important. When this type of deficiency develops, and it is not addressed, then there is a large number of complications that may develop. This is because of the important role that vitamin B12 plays with the production of red blood cells, nerve health, and other functions of the human body.
Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia is one of the most important complications that we need to address here. When the anemia becomes severe, tachycardia may develop. In some cases, heart failure is another risk that should be taken into consideration.
Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia has also been linked to complications such as4:
- Neurological changes
All of these can be exceptionally unpleasant. When symptoms associated with vitamin B12 deficiency develops, taking action before these complications develop can help to reduce the risks and damage dealt with the body.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Thyroid Nodules
Most thyroid nodules do not cause symptoms and are not cancerous.8 Some thyroid nodules make too much thyroid hormone, causing hyperthyroidism. Sometimes, nodules grow so big that they cause problems with swallowing or breathing. About one-third of nodules are found by the patient, another third by the doctor, and the other third through an imaging test of the neck.
You can sometimes see or feel a thyroid nodule yourself. Stand in front of a mirror and raise your chin slightly. Look for a bump on either side of your windpipe below your Adam’s apple. If the bump moves up and down when you swallow, it may be a thyroid nodule. Ask your doctor to look at it.
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How Zinc Deficiency Affects The Body
Zinc helps with a number of different processes in the body. It is considered an antioxidant that helps repair the effects of oxidative damage. It is also involved in growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.
Zinc plays a beneficial role in the immune system and in wound healing. But zinc has an interesting role in the immune system, and a deficiency can cause the immune system to be underactive or overactive.
The relationship between zinc and asthma is believed to occur because low levels of zinc are associated with increased production of mast cells, basophils, and B-cells, cells that are part of the immune system’s role in asthma exacerbations.
What Does My Thyroid Do
Located at the front of your neck, the thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland. Glands are organs that can be found all over your body. Some of your glands create and release hormones substances that help your body function and grow. The thyroid gland plays a big part in many of your bodys main functions, including:
- Regulating your body temperature.
- Controlling your heart rate.
- Controlling your metabolism .
When your thyroid gland is working correctly, your body is in balance, and all of your systems function properly. If your thyroid stops working the way its meant to creating too much or too little thyroid hormones it can impact your entire body.
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Trouble Concentrating Or Remembering
Many patients with hypothyroidism complain of mental fogginess and trouble concentrating. The way this mental fogginess presents itself varies by person.
In one study, 22% of low-thyroid individuals described increased difficulty doing everyday math, 36% described thinking more slowly than usual and 39% reported having a poorer memory .
In another study of 14 men and women with untreated hypothyroidism, the participants showed difficulty remembering verbal cues .
The causes for this are not yet fully understood, but difficulties in memory improve with treatment of low thyroid hormone .
Difficulties in memory or concentration can happen to everyone, but if they are sudden or severe, they could be a signal of hypothyroidism.
Summary: Hypothyroidism can cause mental fogginess and difficulty concentrating. It may also impair certain kinds of memory.
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.
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What Is The Thyroid
The thyroid gland is a small organ thats located in the front of the neck, wrapped around the windpipe . Its shaped like a butterfly, smaller in the middle with two wide wings that extend around the side of your throat. The thyroid is a gland. You have glands throughout your body, where they create and release substances that help your body do a specific thing. Your thyroid makes hormones that help control many vital functions of your body.
When your thyroid doesnt work properly, it can impact your entire body. If your body makes too much thyroid hormone, you can develop a condition called hyperthyroidism. If your body makes too little thyroid hormone, its called hypothyroidism. Both conditions are serious and need to be treated by your healthcare provider.
Common Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism In Cats
Because hypothyroidism is caused by a decreased number of thyroid hormones in the bloodstream, a number of bodily processes are affected and as a result, produce symptoms that indicate abnormal function. The thyroid directly affects the metabolism, and in cats affected by hypothyroidism, the metabolism can slow down considerably. This can result in weight gain. Hypothyroidism can also cause a considerable loss of energy, which results in symptoms of lethargy and inactivity. Cats may also begin to appear weak or may show less mental acuity than they normally would. This is sometimes referred to as mental dullness.
Hypothyroidism can also cause a decrease in body temperature due to a deficiency in thyroid hormone. Even a small change in thyroid levels can significantly change the body temperature. In addition to these symptoms, cats can also display a number of other symptoms, including unkempt appearance, loss of hair , delayed teeth eruption, constipation, matting of the fur, or a flaky hair coat. Cats suffering from hypothyroidism will likely only show a handful of these symptoms depending on the severity of the thyroid hormone deficiency and their unique genetic composition.
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What Are The Complications Of Thyroid Cancer
Most thyroid cancers respond well to treatment and arent life-threatening.
After thyroid surgery or treatments, your body still needs thyroid hormones to function. Youll need thyroid replacement hormone therapy for life. Synthetic thyroid hormones, such as levothyroxine , take over for the thyroid hormones that your body no longer naturally produces.