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Hyperthyroidism: 5 Essential Facts You Should Know

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Hyperthyroidism is one of often occurring hormonal conditions that can affect anyone. It’s most common in women aged 22 – 40 years old, but can happen in any age. For a long time the illness may not reveal itself, its symptoms being variable to a great extent and not prominent. However, there can be some changes in your appearance and in how you feel, which should alert you. It`s important for everyone to know certain facts concerning this illness.

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

- Frequent changes in your mood, anxiety, irritability, and nervousness.

- Hyperactivity, when you can`t stay still and are overwhelmed with energy.

- Weight loss that can`t be explained.

- Feeling tired all the time and muscle weakness.

- Difficulty in sleeping

- Infertility.

Signs of This Thyroid Disease

- A swelling in your neck that the enlarged thyroid gland provokes.

- Arrhythmia (irregular or unusually fast heart rate).

- The eyes protruding from the sockets (bulging eyes).

- Trembling of limbs.

- Warm moist skin.

What Causes Hyperthyroidism

The disease is caused by excessive activity of the thyroid gland, which manifests itself in increased levels of thyroid hormones – thyroxine and triiodthyronine. They are responsible for the growth of the body and metabolic processes in it. The hormones also affect the heart rate and body temperature.

There are some ailments and health disorders that can result in this thyroid disease:

1. Grave`s disease is the most frequent case of overactive thyroid gland. It`s provoked by the immune system that mistakes the gland for a hostile substance and attacks it. This, subsequently, leads to the overproduction of the hormones. What makes the immune system behave in such a way hasn`t been precisely determined yet. It`s believed to be the combination of genetic and environmental factors.

2. Thyroid nodules. These are lumps that appear in the thyroid gland and are usually benign. In some cases (about 1 in 20) they may consist of abnormal thyroid tissue, which provokes overactivity of the gland.

3. Iodine-induced hyperthyroidism occurs when you have nodules in the gland and take too much iodine, as, for instance, with special supplements.

4. Follicular thyroid cancer.

5. Tumors of ovaries and testes.

6. Inflammation of the thyroid gland.

Side Effects of the Thyroid Disease

One of the most serious complications caused by Grave`s disease is Grave`s ophtalmopathy, which is revealed in double vision, bulging eyes, excessive tearing, and some loss of vision. In this case, the treatment may include eye drops to ease vision and corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. Excessive amount of thyroid hormones affects your bones, which also requires attention.

Treatment of Hyperthyroidism

The doctor may prescribe certain medication, such as antithyroid drugs, radioactive iodine, and surgery in the most severe cases. It`s essential for you to eat nutritious food supplying the proper amount of calories, get enough calcium and sodium. The diet to support the proper functioning of the thyroid gland should exclude fruits and vegetables with high content of iodine. 

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