Hyperthyroidism

21:56 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Hyperthyroidism?

This condition appears when the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of thyroxine hormone, an imbalance that causes an acceleration in the body's metabolic processes, mainly causing arrhythmias, tachycardia, and weight loss. Hyperthyroidism causes vary, but the most common are some conditions that trigger this dysfunction, such as thyroiditis, nodules caused by adenomas, or Plummer's disease, as well as autoimmune conditions such as Graves' disease.  The hormones produced in the thyroid play a key role in all of the body's cells, as they control the processing of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, calcium blood level, body temperature, and heart rate. Normally, patients with hyperthyroidism are treated with antithyroid drugs, but if the treatment does not give the expected result, the gland is disabled with radioactive iodine and synthetic hormone is prescribed to regulate the adequate amount for the organism.  In some cases, all or part of the thyroid is surgically removed. If left untreated, this condition can cause serious complications, but if diagnosed and treated early, it is properly controlled without major problems. 

Symptoms

Symptoms are very wide, and since many of them are the same as in other types of ailments, it is not so easy to diagnose it. However, the most frequent are:
  • Goiter. 
  • Tiredness and weakness.
  • Tachycardia and arrhythmia. 
  • Anxiety and irritability.
  • Tremulous hands. 
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Insomnia.
  • Skin dryness. 
  • Britte hair.
  • Voracious appetite and weight loss despite eating more food. 
  • Menstrual cycle disturbance. 
  • Hypersensitivity to heat.
  • Intestinal problems.
If the disorder appears in old age, the symptoms will hardly be noticed, since they are extremely mild or non-existent.  On certain occasions, especially in smokers, Graves' disease can appear, which can affect the eyes, causing an inflammation that will cause them to protrude beyond the orbits’ limit, which is popularly known as "bulging eyes".  Potential risks:
  • Having or having had a relative with hyperthyroidism.
  • Diabetes, anemia, and kidney failure.
  • Being a woman. 
Its possible complications range from heart problems, osteoporosis, visual problems, skin diseases, or even suffering a life-threatening thyrotoxic crisis.

Diagnosis and treatment

After reviewing your symptoms and medical history, your doctor will perform a physical examination and order blood tests to measure your thyroxine levels. If they are high, and to confirm the diagnosis, he or she will request a radioactive iodine uptake test, a scintigraphy, or a thyroid ultrasound. There are several treatment alternatives depending on the case, among which are antithyroid medications to control symptoms, radioactive iodine to reduce or stop the gland’s activity, and thyroidectomy, which consists of partial or total surgical removal of the thyroid. In the last two cases, lifelong intake of levothyroxine (synthetic hormone) is necessary to regulate the normal amount of this hormone in the body. In ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.

Fuentes: 

  • thyroid.org
  • msdmanuals.com
  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • topdoctors.es
  • cun.es
  • medigraphic.com
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  • Prado-Hernández OA, Vega-Quintana A, Moreno-Cervantes CA, et al. Asociación de disfunción tiroidea subclínica con el síndrome de fragilidad en pacientes adultos mayores . Med Int Mex. 2019;35(4):501-506.
  • Mercado CE, García CCF, Arellano TA, et al. Tormenta tiroidea, una emergencia endocrina Presentación de un caso y revisión de la literatura. Rev Fac Med UNAM . 2017;60(4):27-36.
  • Maciques RJE, Pérez MME, Redondo PLR, et al. Orbitopatía asociada al tiroides en edades pediátricas. Rev Cuba Endoc. 2017;28(2):1-7.
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