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What Happens If An Overactive Thyroid Is Left Untreated

Dangers Of Overactive Thyroid

What can happen if an overactive thyroid is left untreated? | Apollo Hospitals

    When you have an overactive thyroid, your bodys systems run at full throttle. The high levels of thyroid hormone constantly say, Go! Left untreated, this conditioncalled hyperthyroidismcan put your health at serious risk.

    Dont ignore these dangers. Seek effective treatment and avoid the following threats to your health and well-being.

    How Is Hypothyroidism Treated

    Standard treatment for hypothyroidism involves thyroid hormone tablets to achieve normal TSH levels. This is achieved by the daily administration of synthetic thyroid hormone, levothyroxine. Levothyroxine is an oral medication, and the dose is adjusted by the physician based on the hormone levels in the blood. Most cases require lifelong treatment but testing at regular intervals is advised because the hormone levels in the blood fluctuate and the dosage needs to be changed accordingly.

    A balanced diet, using iodized table salt in food, and regular exercise are recommended along with the medical treatment.

    Are There Different Types Of Thyroid Removal Surgery

    If your healthcare provider determines that your thyroid needs to be removed, there are a couple of ways that can be done. Your thyroid may need to be completely removed or just partially. This will depend on the severity of your condition. Also, if your thyroid is very big or has a lot of growths on it, that could prevent you from being eligible for some types of surgery.

    The surgery to remove your thyroid is called a thyroidectomy. There are two main ways this surgery can be done:

    • With an incision on the front of your neck.
    • With an incision in your armpit.

    The incision on the front of your neck is more of the traditional version of a thyroidectomy. It allows your surgeon to go straight in and remove the thyroid. In many cases, this might be your best option. You may need this approach if your thyroid is particularly big or has a lot of larger nodules.

    Alternatively, there is a version of the thyroid removal surgery where your surgeon makes an incision in your armpit and then creates a tunnel to your thyroid. This tunnel is made with a special tool called an elevated retractor. It creates an opening that connects the incision in your armpit with your neck. The surgeon will use a robotic arm that will move through the tunnel to get to the thyroid. Once there, it can remove the thyroid back through the tunnel and out of the incision in your armpit.

    • Are not at a healthy body weight.
    • Have large thyroid nodules.
    • Have a condition like thyroiditis or Gravess disease.

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    How Are The Causes Of An Overactive Thyroid Diagnosed

    The diagnosis of hyperthyroidism may not be obvious at first because symptoms may be mild. If you have symptoms described above, see your doctor for a diagnosis. Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms, including whether you are taking any medicines that may cause a high level of thyroid hormones in your body. Your doctor will also examine you and check your thyroid gland.

    Some tests your doctor may carry out to help diagnose the cause of an overactive thyroid include:

    • a thyroid function test this is a blood test that measures your thyroid hormones and thyroid stimulating hormone
    • a blood test to test for TSH receptor antibody if you have Graves disease, this antibody level can be high.

    Depending on your blood tests results, a nuclear scan of your thyroid may or may not be done. A nuclear scan can find out whether your thyroid has any nodules and examine the size and shape of your thyroid. You may be referred to an endocrinologist for further testing if the cause is still unknown.

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    What Are The Effects Of Hyperthyroidism On Pregnancy

    As far as hyperthyroidism , considered, cases of this condition are far less than hypothyroidism and thyroid organ work regularly amid pregnancy. According to statistics, there are only one percent cases where pregnant women have an overactive thyroid. But if the lady already has an overactive thyroid then it is possible that it may cause harm to the fetus.

    Uncontrolled hyperthyroidism has numerous impacts on the fetus during pregnancy. It might prompt immature birth and low birth weight for the infant. Also, women with hyperthyroidism may suffer from pregnancy-induced hypertension .

    An extreme, lethal type of hyperthyroidism, called thyroid storm, may confound pregnancy and results in severe life-threatening issues to both the mother and the fetus. As the name implies, it is a condition in which there are huge amounts of thyroid hormone that can cause high fever, diarrhea, quick and sporadic heart rate, dehydration, and even death in some cases if left untreated.

    If you have an overactive thyroid then it is constantly best to plan for pregnancy and to counsel it with your doctor to guarantee your thyroid status and treatment are enhanced before getting pregnant and observed until the child is conceived.

    Radioactive Iodine Uptake Test

    If your endocrinologist suspects you have hyperthyroidism, he or she may recommend that you have a radioactive iodine uptake test. The results of this test give your doctor insight into how well your thyroid is functioning.

    Before the scan, which is an outpatient procedure, you are given a small amount of radioactive iodine, which is in pill form and taken by mouth. Thyroid cells vigorously absorb iodine, because it is the main building block for thyroid hormone. After the iodine is ingested, measurements of the uptake of radioactive iodine by the thyroid gland are taken after 4 hours and once again after 24 hours.

    When the radioactive iodine reaches the thyroid gland, it gives off radiation signals. A special camera used during the scan detects these signals and takes pictures of the thyroid from different angles, revealing the size and shape of the gland. Thyroid function can be assessed based on how much radioactive iodine is absorbed by the thyroid and if it is evenly spread throughout the gland or concentrated in a nodule.

    If the thyroid absorbs none or only small amounts of the iodine, you may have thyrotoxicosis, which results from inflammation of the thyroid gland due to thyroiditis. If your thyroid absorbs large amounts of iodine, you may have Graves disease. If overactive or toxic nodules are present, iodine uptake mainly occurs in the area of these nodules.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Graves’ Disease

    Many of the symptoms of Graves’ disease are the same as those of other causes of . Other signs are found only in Graves’ disease.

    Symptoms of Graves’ disease include:

    • Bulging eyes
    • Thickening and reddening of the skin, especially on the shins and upper feet
    • Irritability or nervousness
    • Weight loss without dieting
    • goiter, which is an enlarged thyroid that can cause the neck to look swollen

    The symptoms of Graves’ disease can start slowly or very suddenly. Some people do not have any symptoms.

    Complications Of Hyperthyroidism In Cats

    Understanding Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

    The longer hyperthyroidism is left untreated, the greater the risk of significant underlying kidney disease. Kidney disease can be managed medically, but cannot be cured, and it has a far more significant effect on your cats welfare and life expectancy than hyperthyroidism.

    The heart is another victim of both high blood pressure and being driven to work too hard by hyperthyroidism can lead to heart failure. The heart is a muscle, so when it is forced to work too hard for a long period, it gets bigger. Unfortunately, as the muscle grows, the space inside it for blood gets smaller, and the heart actually becomes less effective.

    The changes are irreversible and mean that the heart cannot get as much blood and oxygen around the body as it should. Your cat may become very tired or lethargic, and have a greater risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Medication can help, but the prognosis is guarded for a cat with this type of heart disease.

    If you suspect your cat is suffering from hyperthyroidismbook a free consultation with your local Animal Trust surgery to have them examined as soon as possible. Early diagnosis of the condition leads to effective management and ensures that your cat can continue to live a happy and healthy life.

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    Favorite Hyperthyroidism Online Support Networks

    While weve found numerous blogs related to thyroid health, is one of the few places that offers online networking specifically for people with hyperthyroidism. Here you can post questions and provide helpful insights to other hyperthyroid patients who need advice. While youre there, you can read up on some of the latest hyperthyroidism-related news from

    This resource aims to educate people about Graves disease. Topics you can read up on include general treatments, anti-thyroid drug experiences, symptom relief, complications, and more.

    What Happens If Hyperthyroidism Goes Untreated In Cats

    This is because the cats heart must work harder to match the state of its overactive metabolism. This means that in addition to years of dietary distress, general restlessness and nervousness, and hair loss, a cat whose feline hyperthyroidism is untreated can suffer from heart problems that can be fatal.

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    The Only Effective Treatment For Feline Hyperthyroidism

    If your cat tests positive, your veterinarian may recommend Radioactive Iodine Therapy for your cat’s hyperthyroidism. This therapy is the most effective treatment option for treating feline hyperthyroidism. In this treatment, a radioactive iodine is injected. This iodine will eliminate abnormal thyroid tissue without harming surrounding tissues. After the injection, your cat will be monitored for a few days until his or her radiation levels are at an acceptable level.

    This type of treatment is considered the most desirable because of its low risk of side effects and the fact that, in many cases, only a single treatment is needed. Surgery to correct the issue can be dangerous for cats that are already in poor health and cats will require hormone therapy following the surgery. Medication must be administered 1-3 times daily, and many cat owners find it difficult to give their cat pills daily. Medication also often comes with its own host of side effects, some of which can be dangerous. See a comparison of feline hyperthyroidism treatments.

    If your cat is exhibiting symptoms of feline hyperthyroidism, please contact your veterinarian immediately. Never leave feline hyperthyroidism untreated.

    How Is Thyroid Disease Diagnosed

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    Sometimes, thyroid disease can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are easily confused with those of other conditions. You may experience similar symptoms when you are pregnant or aging and you would when developing a thyroid disease. Fortunately, there are tests that can help determine if your symptoms are being caused by a thyroid issue. These tests include:

    • Blood tests.
    • Physical exams.

    Blood tests

    One of the most definitive ways to diagnose a thyroid problem is through blood tests. Thyroid blood tests are used to tell if your thyroid gland is functioning properly by measuring the amount of thyroid hormones in your blood. These tests are done by taking blood from a vein in your arm. Thyroid blood tests are used to see if you have:

    • Hyperthyroidism.
    • Hypothyroidism.

    The specific blood tests that will be done to test your thyroid can include:

    These tests alone arent meant to diagnose any illness but may prompt your healthcare provider to do additional testing to evaluate for a possible thyroid disorder.

    Additional blood tests might include:

    Talk to your healthcare provider about the ranges for these thyroid blood tests. Your ranges might not be the same as someone elses. Thats often alright. If you have any concerns or worries about your blood test results, talk to your provider.

    Imaging tests

    An ultrasound typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

    Physical exam

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    What Happens If A Thyroid Disorder Is Left Untreated

    Untreated hyperthyroidism can cause serious problems with the heart, bones, muscles, menstrual cycle, and fertility.

    Untreated hypothyroidism can cause intellectual disabilities and can affect a child’s development, including sexual maturity. It can also lead to low activity levels, anemia, low body temperature and heart failure.

    What Common Symptoms Can Happen With Thyroid Disease

    There are a variety of symptoms you could experience if you have a thyroid disease. Unfortunately, symptoms of a thyroid condition are often very similar to the signs of other medical conditions and stages of life. This can make it difficult to know if your symptoms are related to a thyroid issue or something else entirely.

    For the most part, the symptoms of thyroid disease can be divided into two groups those related to having too much thyroid hormone and those related to having too little thyroid hormone .

    Symptoms of an overactive thyroid can include:

    • Experiencing anxiety, irritability and nervousness.
    • Having trouble sleeping.
    • Experiencing an intolerance to cold temperatures.

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    Can I Live A Normal Life With A Thyroid Disease

    A thyroid disease is often a life-long medical condition that you will need to manage constantly. This often involves a daily medication. Your healthcare provider will monitor your treatments and make adjustments over time. However, you can usually live a normal life with a thyroid disease. It may take some time to find the right treatment option for you and control your hormone levels, but then people with these types of conditions can usually live life without many restrictions.

    What Other Health Problems Could I Have Because Of Hyperthyroidism

    Hyperthyroidism /Thyrotoxicosis/Overactive Thyroid : Causes and Symptoms

    If hyperthyroidism isnt treated, it can cause some serious health problems, including

    • an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related problems
    • an eye disease called Graves ophthalmopathy that can cause double vision, light sensitivity, and eye pain, and rarely can lead to vision loss
    • thinning bones and osteoporosis

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    What Is Hyperthyroidism In Cats

    Feline hyperthyroidism is an extremely common condition that occurs when the thyroid gland in the neck becomes overactive. The thyroid glands produce a hormone that controls the animals metabolic rate i.e how the body uses energy. The brain controls the level of thyroxine by telling the thyroid gland how much to make.

    Growth in the thyroid gland can cause hyperthyroidism, producing more active cells. However, these cells can develop out of control and instead produce thyroxine continually instead of the amount that is needed. High levels of thyroxine in cats can force the body into overdrive. The body is kept constantly at an unnaturally high level of energy, which places enormous strain on other systems, including the heart.

    Left untreated, cat hyperthyroidism can be fatal and early diagnosis is key to ensuring other organs are not affected. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available that can help to manage an overactive thyroid in cats effectively.

    What Are The Symptoms Of An Overactive Thyroid

    People with an overactive thyroid may have no symptoms at all, or symptoms may start off mild and then progressively get worse. These may include:

    • a swollen thyroid gland, also known as goitre
    • problems with your eyes or vision this is more common if you have Graves disease
    • lighter or no menstrual periods.

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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.

    How Is Graves’ Disease Treated During Pregnancy

    The Signs and Symptoms of an Overactive Thyroid

    During pregnancy, you may need to see an , a doctor who treats people with hormone problems. Your doctors will check your thyroid levels during pregnancy.

    You cannot get radioiodine therapy during pregnancy. It can cause problems with your pregnancy and to your unborn baby. Your doctor may give you anti-thyroid medicine instead. Propylthiouracil is safe to take throughout pregnancy.

    Also, your treatment may change during your pregnancy. For some women with Graves’ disease, symptoms are worse in the first trimester and then get better for the rest of the pregnancy as thyroid hormone levels change. Some women can stop taking anti-thyroid medicines in the last four to eight weeks of pregnancy if their thyroid activity becomes normal. Your doctor will check your thyroid hormone levels again after childbirth.

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    What Causes Hyperthyroidism

    Hyperthyroidism has several causes, including Graves disease, thyroid nodules, and thyroiditisinflammation of the thyroid. Rarely, hyperthyroidism is caused by a noncancerous tumor of the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain. Consuming too much iodine or taking too much thyroid hormone medicine also may raise your thyroid hormone levels.


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