Hyperthyroidism is a condition when the thyroid gland produces too much hormone. Because the thyroid gland is producing too much hormone in hyperthyroidism, the body develops an increased metabolic state, with many body systems developing abnormal function. This condition is less common in children. Commonly it results from autoimmunity.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism symptoms tend to reflect the rapid metabolism that results from an oversupply of thyroid hormone. Common symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, rapid weight loss, diarrhea, high heart rate, high blood pressure, eye irritation and bulging, visual disturbances and many other concerns.
Treatment for Hyperthyroidism
Thyroid hormone production can be suppressed or halted completely in these ways:
Beta blockers are commonly used medications to reduce the symptoms of hyperthyroidism such as increased heart rate, tremors, anxiety and heart palpitations. Anti-thyroid drugs are used to decrease the over production of thyroid hormones during hyperthyroidism. These drugs involve frequent doctor visits and blood tests to monitor the treatment.
Radioactive iodide treatment
Drugs may cause side effects and hence some patients choose to undergo radioactive iodine-131 treatment. Radioactive iodine is administered in order to destroy a proportion of or the entire thyroid gland. The radioactive iodine is selectively taken up by the gland and gradually destroys the cells of the gland. If your doctor decides that radioactive treatment is best, you will be asked to swallow a liquid containing radioactive iodide. It will be given in amounts large enough to damage the cells of your thyroid gland and limit or destroy their ability to produce hormones.
Another option is the surgical removal of the thyroid gland partially or entirely. Surgery is recommended for children and youngsters under 18 years (radiation may not be safe for this age group). Surgery is also recommended when hyperthyroidism is due to toxic nodules or toxic multi nodular goiter, since these nodules tend to be resistant to anti thyroid medications. Once the tissue is removed surgically, hormone levels typically return to normal within a few weeks.
Our doctors provide excellent, personalized care to patients with Hyperthyroidism.