HyperThyroid: Hyperthyroidism, aka (overactive thyroid), is a condition in which an individual’s thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine, a hormone. Hyperthyroidism can significantly accelerate the body’s metabolism, which can cause sudden weight loss, rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nervousness, and/or irritability.
A hyperthyroid can mimic other health ailments, which can make it difficult to diagnose. It can have a variety of symptoms that include:
- Sudden weight loss, even when appetite and the amount and type of food remain the same or increase.
- Increased appetite.
- Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) more than 100 beats a minute.
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).
- Pounding of your heart (palpitations).
- Nervousness, anxiety, and irritability.
- Tremors or trembling in the hands and fingers.
- Menstrual pattern changes.
- Increased sensitivity to heat.
- Bowel pattern changes more frequent movements.
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter).
- Fatigue, muscle weakness.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Thinning skin.
- Brittle hair.
For older people, hyperthyroid symptoms may not show or be subtle. Also, medications called beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure and other conditions can mask the signs of hyperthyroidism.
There are various treatment options available. Doctors use anti-thyroid medications and radioactive iodine to slow the production of thyroid hormones. Sometimes, treatment involves surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid gland. While hyperthyroidism can be serious if ignored, most individuals respond well once hyperthyroidism is diagnosed and treated.
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