Hyperthyroidism is indicated by high levels of thyroid hormone in the body. It occurs when the overactive tissue within the thyroid gland results in the overproduction of free circulating thyroid hormones. There may be several underlying causes behind hyperthyroidism. However, the signs and symptoms of this medical condition remain quite static, irrespective of the reasons causing it. Those suffering from hyperthyroidism may experience unreasonable weight loss, nervousness, anxiety, heat intolerance, tremors, high blood pressure and an increased resting heart rate, as high thyroid leads to increased metabolism. In advanced stages of hyperthyroidism, the patient may experience shortness of breath and also develop muscle weakness. This condition is rather difficult to be diagnosed in the early stages, as it often develops slowly. The patient’s history and physical examination are prominent factors in diagnosis of hyperthyroidism, as confirmed by blood tests. This article dwells at length on the causes and symptoms of high thyroid levels. Read on to know more about hyperthyroidism.
Symptoms Of High Thyroid Levels
- Increased perspiration
- Thinning of skin
- Fine, brittle hair
- Muscular weakness, especially involving the upper arms and thighs
- Shaky hands
- Panic disorder
- Racing heart
- More frequent bowel movements
- Weight loss, despite a good appetite
- Lighter flow, less frequent menstrual periods
- Intolerance to heat (due to over-stimulated metabolism)
- Polyuria (passage of large volumes of urine)
- Polydipsia (excessive thirst)
- Delirium (cognition and concentration troubles)
- Pretibial myxedema (an infiltrative dermopathy)
- Arrhythmias (notably atrial fibrillation)
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Loss of libido
Causes Of Hyperthyroidism
- Graves’ Disease: Graves' disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. This condition is characterized by an enlarged thyroid (goiter), producing excess thyroid hormone. It is an autoimmune disease, a condition triggered by the patient's own immune system turning against his thyroid gland. Therefore, it can be concluded that the antibodies formed by the patient's immune system, in case of Graves' disease, cause hyperthyroidism.
- A single nodule within the thyroid gland may also cause hyperthyroidism. The single nodule, having lost its regulatory mechanism, produces thyroid hormone at a severely increased rate, causing the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Thyroid nodules usually indicate non-cancerous lumps or tumors in the gland. At times, excessive amounts of thyroid hormones are produced by these nodules. This condition is known as "toxic nodular goiter."
- Thyroiditis, a condition characterized by inflammation of the thyroid gland, can also lead to the release of excess amount of thyroid hormones, which are usually stored in the gland. This may lead to hyperthyroidism.
- Those who consume excessive doses of any of the available forms of thyroid hormone are also at a risk of hyperthyroidism.This may occur in patients who take forms of thyroid medication containing T3, normally produced in low amount by the human thyroid gland.