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What Is The Treatment For Overactive Thyroid

What Else Should I Know

Hyperthyroidism | Overactive thyroid causes, symptoms, risk factor, treatment | 3 minutes learning

We don’t know why people develop Graves’ disease. But with good medical help, kids and teens can be healthy and do all the things other kids and teens can do.

Graves’ eye disease can develop at any time in someone who has Graves’ disease. Smoke can make this eye disease much worse, so it’s very important to not smoke and to avoid secondhand smoke.

Women with Graves’ disease need to be very careful to keep their hormone levels in balance. Uncontrolled thyroid hormone levels in a pregnant woman can lead to problems during pregnancy and harm her baby.

Different Types Of Thyroid Disorders

There are many types of thyroid problems:

  • Problems with the function of the thyroid The thyroid gland can make too much or not enough thyroid hormones.
  • Problems with the structure of the thyroid Nodules can develop in the thyroid. Most of those nodules are benign, but a small percentage can be thyroid cancer.
  • A link between problems with thyroid function and problems with thyroid structure

What Is An Overactive Thyroid

he thyroid gland produces tetraiodothyronine and triiodothyronine . These are regulatory hormones that control metabolism in the body. They affect how your cells utilize energy. Ideally, a properly functioning thyroid gland ensures effective and efficient use of energy.

An overactive thyroid gland increases thyroid levels. It produces more hormones than the body requires normally. When your thyroid gland produces T3 or T4 or both in excess, it leads to hyperthyroidism. This increases the bodys metabolic rate, causing issues such as arrhythmia and weight loss.

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Signs Your Thyroid Is Underactive

Your thyroida small gland in your neckhas a huge impact on your body. It produces thyroid hormone , which is responsible for keeping your metabolism, heartbeat, temperature, mood, and more, in check. An underactive thyroid doesnât produce enough TH, and that can cause a host of health problems. Watch the video for the warning signs.

Your thyroida small gland in your neckhas a huge impact on your body. It produces thyroid hormone , which is responsible for keeping your metabolism, heartbeat, temperature, mood, and more, in check. An underactive thyroid doesnât produce enough TH, and that can cause a host of health problems. Watch the video for the warning signs.

Donât have time to watch? Read the full transcript:

Youâre exhausted: Too little thyroid hormone makes you feel fatigued.

Youâve gained weight: An underactive thyroid slows your metabolism.

Your skin is dry and itchy: Hair and nails might be brittle, too.

Youâre feeling down: Thyroid hormones can affect brain chemistry and mood.

Youâve got brain fog: A sluggish thyroid can make you forgetful and fuzzy-headed.

Youâre all backed up: Digestion slows down, making you constipated.

Your flow is like whoa: Say hello to longer, heavier periods with more cramps.

Youâre constantly cold: Total system slowdown = less energy burned. That means less body heat.

Think you have a thyroid problem? See your doc and ask to get tested.

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism


Symptoms of hypothyroidism develop slowly, often over several years. At first, you may feel tired and sluggish. Later, you may develop other signs and symptoms of a slowed-down metabolism, including:

  • Feeling cold when other people do not
  • Constipation
  • More than usual menstrual bleeding

You also may have high LDL or âbadâ cholesterol, which can raise your risk for .

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Finding And Treating The Underlying Cause

If hyperthyroidism is found to be the condition, the factors causing the over-stimulation of the thyroid gland will be evaluated. We have found over the years that thyroids dont normally over-stimulate without reason and for this reason, its important we try to identify the underlying cause.

For example, we will look for:

  • heavy metals present in the area of the thyroid
  • systemic toxicity from other environmental toxins
  • hidden infections such as in the mouth, teeth, or any place in the body such as Epstein Bar or Herpesvirus 6
  • autoimmune conditions, such as Graves disease, which is a common culprit
  • immune system dysfunction
  • thyroid nodules, which are lumps in the thyroid gland
  • inflammation of the thyroid gland
  • food allergies

The Medication Might Not Resolve Your Symptoms

Weâre all looking for a magic pill to help us to control our weight, make us feel more alert and stabilise our emotions. But unfortunately, even if your weight problems or tiredness are caused by a thyroid disorder, medication wonât necessarily provide the answer.

Although thyroid disease may be a piece of the puzzle, itâs likely that it is not the butterfly-shaped gland in isolation causing your health concerns.

âQuite often the symptoms donât just have one cause. Sometimes itâs multifactorial,â explains Khoo. âAlthough a lot of people come to us with a symptom, believing it to be caused by their thyroid disease, quite often the problem may be caused by a patientâs lifestyle.â

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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Graves’ Disease

Kids and teens with Graves’ disease might notice that:

  • they’re more tired than usual
  • they have lots of trouble sleeping
  • they lose weight
  • their heart is beating very fast
  • their hands shake
  • they have a lot of trouble focusing

Girls with Graves’ disease sometimes notice that they have fewer menstrual cycles. Over time, many people notice that their thyroid glands are enlarged.

Some people with Graves’ disease have troubles with their eyes itching, burning, redness, and sometimes trouble seeing normally. Sometimes they feel pressure behind the eyes, feel their eyes bulging, or see double. This is because the antibodies that make the thyroid overactive also cause and swelling behind the eyes. When this happens, it’s called Graves’ eye disease.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Hyperthyroidism

What is an Overactive Thyroid?

Your doctor will take a medical history and perform a physical exam. A hyperthyroidism diagnosis cant be based on symptoms alone because many of its symptoms are the same as those of other diseases. Thats why your doctor may use several thyroid blood tests and imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis and find its cause.

Because hyperthyroidism can cause fertility problems, women who have trouble getting pregnant often get tested for thyroid problems.

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Faq: Frequently Asked Questions

Is Graves disease the same as hyperthyroidism?

Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that leads to and is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, but theyre not the same thing. While all patients with Graves disease have hyperthyroidism, patients with hyperthyroidism may not necessarily have Graves disease .

In Graves disease, the body makes an antibody called thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin , which causes the thyroid gland to make too much thyroid hormone . Graves disease runs in families and is more commonly found in women.

Hypothyroidism vs Hyperthyroidism: Whats the difference?

The difference all comes down to the prefix in each word: hyper means over or exaggeration, while hypo means under or beneath. When it comes to -thyroidism, hyper- means an overactive thyroid gland, and hypo- means an underactive one.

Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, can actually be caused by treatments for hyperthyroidism, since their whole purpose is to decrease thyroid gland activity. Those treatments, however, can tip the balance too far.

What should I eat to manage hyperthyroidism?

With hyperthyroidism, its more important to manage what you dont eat. High levels of iodine consumption can exacerbate hyperthyroidism, so its a good idea to watch your iodine intake. Look for ways to limit iodine in your diet by restricting your consumption of foods such as: fish, seaweed, shrimp, dairy products, and grain products .

Does hyperthyroidism go away on its own?

Treatment For Eye Problems

You may need to see an eye specialist if you develop the eye problems of Graves’ disease. Relatively minor symptoms affect the eyes in about half of people with Graves’ disease. Measures such as artificial tears, sunglasses and eye protectors whilst you sleep may be sufficient to help.

However, about 1 in 20 people with Graves’ disease have severe eye changes. Treatment can then be more difficult and may include surgery, radiation treatment or steroid tablets.

If you smoke then it is important that you try to stop. Smoking can actually make your eye problems worse.

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In People Being Treated For Thyroid Disease

A high TSH may be found in people being treated for either hypo- or hyperthyroidism.

With hypothyroidism, a high TSH usually means that the dose of thyroid hormone replacement needs to be increased.

In some cases, however, the dose is okay, but the medication is not being fully absorbed. For example, many foods and medications can affect the absorption of Synthroid in your system. Learning what to avoid while taking this medication is important for it to work properly.

With hyperthyroidism, a high TSH usually means that the treatmentbe it surgery, radioactive iodine, or medicationswas so effective in limiting the production of thyroid hormone that it caused the person to become hypothyroid.

A low TSH often means that a person has an elevated level of thyroid hormones.

What Is The Outlook For Thyroid Eye Disease

Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid) Symptoms, Diagnosis ...

Thyroid eye disease is a temporary but drawn-out illness which fades away by itself. The inflamed period tends to last months to years , after which there is a healing response. For most people the condition will be mild, needing lubricants and regular assessments only. For those with more severe disease, the outlook depends on how early it is diagnosed and how intensive the treatment is. About 1 in 4 people with severe disease will end up with reduced eyesight.

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Hyperthyroidism And Graves Disease

Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. This disorder occurs in about 1% of all Americans and affects women much more often than men. In its mildest form, hyperthyroidism may not cause noticeable symptoms however, in some patients, excess thyroid hormone and the resulting effects on the body can have significant consequences.

Other Medications And Herbs

Some herbal supplements and medications can have an impact on thyroid hormone levels, either by competing with the bodyâs thyroid hormone activity, amplifying the effects of thyroid hormones, or altering medication absorption and activity.

  • Medications: Starting or stopping prescription drugs that you are taking for another condition besides your thyroid disease can affect your thyroid levels and your symptoms in a number of different ways. Some medications that may affect thyroid levels include certain cholesterol-lowering drugs, corticosteroids, growth hormone, lithium, and amiodarone.
  • Herbs: The Ayurvedic herb guggul, supplements such as tyrosine, products like kelp that contain iodine, and bladderwrack supplements are some of the naturopathic remedies that are known to increase or decrease thyroid function, alter test results, and produce a variety of thyroid related symptoms.

It is best to ask your pharmacist and doctor about potential interactions.

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What Causes An Overactive Thyroid

Excess thyroid production is most often the cause of an autoimmune disease known as Graves disease.

This condition results in hyperthyroidism due to stimulation of the thyroid gland.

In Graves disease, your body produces antibodies, known as thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin, which attaches to your thyroid gland and initiates the production of thyroid hormone.

Normally, when thyroid levels increase, your body can shut off excess production.

But the presence of these antibodies causes constant stimulation of your thyroid gland which results in the symptoms we listed above.

But Graves disease is not the only cause of this condition.

Some patients may experience an increase in thyroid hormone from nodules which ignore normal feedback loops.

This condition is known as toxic multinodular goiter.

Other conditions, such as tumors which produce TSH can also initiate the same response.

The conditions we listed above tend to cause a sustained and chronic increase in thyroid hormone over time.

But there are other conditions which temporarily cause an overactive thyroid .

Thyroiditis is worth mentioning because it can cause a very confusing clinical picture and one which causes alternating stages of both an overactive thyroid and an underactive thyroid.

This rollercoaster, which is seen in conditions such as Hashimotos thyroiditis, can be VERY confusing for patients.

How Are Thyroid Nodules Treated

Overactive Thyroid: Hyperthyroidism

Treatment depends on the type of nodule or nodules that you have. Treatments include:

  • Watchful waiting. If your nodule is not cancerous, your doctor may decide to just watch your condition. You will get regular physical exams, blood tests, and perhaps thyroid ultrasound tests. If your nodule does not change, you may not need further treatment.
  • Surgery. Surgery may be necessary to take out nodules that may be cancerous or large nodules that cause problems breathing or swallowing.
  • Radioiodine. This type of treatment is helpful if you have nodules that make too much thyroid hormone. Radioiodine causes nodules to shrink and make smaller amounts of thyroid hormone.

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Can I Develop Hyperthyroidism During Or After Pregnancy

During early pregnancy, your body needs to produce more thyroid hormones than normal to help the baby develop. These hormones are particularly important for your babys brain and nervous system. Having thyroid hormone levels that are a little higher than normal is alright, but if your levels increase dramatically, your healthcare provider may need to form a treatment plan. High levels of hyperthyroidism can impact not only you, but also your baby.

It can be difficult to diagnose hyperthyroidism during pregnancy because your thyroid hormone levels naturally increase and the other symptoms of pregnancy mask signs of hyperthyroidism.

There is also a condition called postpartum thyroiditis that happens after your baby is born. This condition can happen during the first year after birth. Its more common in women who also have type 1 diabetes. Postpartum thyroiditis can start out as hyperthyroidism and then shift into hypothyroidism. However, this pattern doesnt happen to every woman with postpartum thyroiditis. If you begin having symptoms of a thyroid disease during or after pregnancy, talk to your healthcare provider.

Whats Special About University Of Michigans Treatment Of Graves Disease

UM is one of the few places in the country that has a multidisciplinary group dedicated to the treatment of patients with Graves disease. UMs multidisciplinary group consists of endocrinologists, endocrine surgeons, ophthalmologists, nuclear medicine physicians, rheumatologists and psychiatric professionals. Our group sees Graves disease patients from around the country and is involved with one of the most well-known national organizations concentrating on helping patients and families coping with Graves disease and Graves eye disease. Our group routinely publishes papers with new research results on Graves disease.

The ophthalmologists in our group specialize in the treatment of Graves eye disease which can require complex management. Most ophthalmologists have little experience treating patients with Graves disease and Graves eye disease. For those patients with Graves eye disease, it is the severity of the eye disease which drives the selection of the type of treatment for hyperthyroidism if these two problems occur together.

While those patients with no Graves eye disease or only mild eye disease may be candidates for any of the three types of treatments for hyperthyroidism, those who have moderate to severe eye disease are often referred for surgical thyroidectomy as RAI has a higher chance of worsening the eye disease than surgery does.

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Can Hyperthyroidism Be Prevented Or Avoided

You cannot prevent hyperthyroidism. However, some people are more at risk for the condition. This includes people who:

  • Were born female.
  • Have a family history of thyroid disease.
  • Are younger than 40 or older than 60.
  • Have certain problems, such as type 1 diabetes, pernicious anemia, or an immune system disorder.
  • Consume large amounts of iodine, either through food or medicine

Who Is At Risk For Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid): Causes, Symptoms and ...

You are at higher risk for hyperthyroidism if you:

  • Are a woman
  • Are older than age 60
  • Have been pregnant or had a baby within the past 6 months
  • Have had thyroid surgery or a thyroid problem, such as goiter
  • Have a family history of thyroid disease
  • Have pernicious anemia, in which the body cannot make enough healthy red blood cells because it does not have enough vitamin B12
  • Have type 1 diabetes or primary adrenal insufficiency, a hormonal disorder
  • Get too much iodine, from eating large amounts of foods containing iodine or using iodine-containing medicines or supplements

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Overactive Thyroid Treatment Options

In 30 seconds

Overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid produces too many hormones. This can cause symptoms such as irritability, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and sensitivity to heat.

The good news is that overactive thyroid treatment is reasonably straightforward, and success rates are high. Medications known as thionamides are a popular option, alongside radiotherapy and surgery.

Your treatment will depend on the cause of your hyperthyroidism. As a result, the first step in treatment will be taking a thyroid function test so that doctors can find out the underlying cause.

Who Is At Risk For Thyroid Cancer

About three times as many women get thyroid cancer as men. The number of women with thyroid cancer is also going up. By 2020, the number of women with thyroid cancer is expected to double, from 34,000 women to more than 70,000 women.9

Thyroid cancer is more common in women who:10

  • Are between the ages of 25 and 65
  • Had radiation therapy to the head or neck, especially in childhood, to treat cancer
  • Have a history of goiter
  • Have a family history of thyroid cancer

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Is There Anything I Can Do

Yes. Here are a few tips:

  • We know that one thing that makes this disease worse is smoking. If you smoke, see your GP about getting help to stop. Stopping smoking, even if you already have thyroid eye disease, will reduce the severity.
  • Sleeping propped up will help reduce the puffiness around the eyes.
  • You may find bright light uncomfortable. Sunglasses will help.
  • If you are a driver and experience double vision, let the DVLA know. This is a legal requirement. Usually, they will contact your specialist eye doctor for a report. If the double vision is well controlled with prisms, you may be declared fit to drive. Until then you should not drive.


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