Hyperthyroidism is the result of excess thyroid hormone production, causing an overactive metabolism and increased speed of all the body’s processes.
Thyroid hormone generally controls the pace of all of the processes in the body. This pace is called your metabolism. If there is too much thyroid hormone, every function of the body tends to speed up. The thyroid gland regulates the body temperature by secreting two hormones that control how quickly the body burns calories and energy. If the thyroid produces too much hormone, the condition is called hyperthyroidism, but if too little is produced the result is hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common reason for hypothyroidism.
Although the exact cause is not known, hyperthyroidism usually begins slowly and unexpectedly. At first, the symptoms may be mistaken for simple nervousness due to stress. Or simple menopause symptoms and sometimes even panic attacks (especially if there are palpitations).
I personally believe that stress is the one of the main reasons that may trigger hyperthyroidism. And to be more specific- stressful events that can not be processed appropriately. Accordingly, treating the reason will eventually improve your hyperthyroid condition.
In Graves’ disease, which is the most common reason of hyperthyroidism diagnosis (in 80% of the cases), however it is not the only one. The eyes may look enlarged because the upper lids are elevated. Sometimes, one or both eyes may bulge. Some patients have swelling of the front of the neck from an enlarged thyroid gland (a goiter).
Hyperthyroidism Diagnosis. How to diagnose Hyperthyroidism?
The diagnosis will be confirmed by laboratory tests that measure the amount of thyroid hormones— thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3)—and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in your blood.
A high level of thyroid hormone in the blood plus a low level of TSH is common with an overactive thyroid gland. If blood tests show that your thyroid is overactive, your doctor may want to obtain a picture of your thyroid (a thyroid scan). The scan will find out if your entire thyroid gland is overactive or whether you have a toxic nodular goiter or thyroiditis (thyroid inflammation). A test that measures the ability of the gland to collect iodine may be performed at the same time.
The goiter stands for a thyroid gland that is enlarged for any reason. A goiter can be seen when the thyroid is overactive, under active or functioning normally. If there are nodules in the goiter it is called a nodular goiter; if there is more than one nodule it is called a multinodular goiter.
Thyroid nodule represents an abnormal growth of thyroid cells that forms a lump within the thyroid. While most thyroid nodules are non-cancerous (benign), about 5% are cancerous. Most of the thyroid nodules do not cause any symptoms and most of them are discovered accidentally, when touching the neck for example and finding a lump. The most typical treatment for cancerous nodules is surgery. Nuclear thyroid scan is no longer necessary to determine if a thyroid nodule is cancerous, usually doctors use biopsies and thyroid scan, which is often enough for diagnose.
I all cases, no matter what’s the reason for your hyperthyroidism it could be treated with medication, or different alternative methods.