About Hyperthyroidism Treatment
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What is hyperthyroidism?
This is a medical condition which occurs when you have an overactive thyroid causing the thyroid gland to produce too much of thyroxine. The thyroid gland is an organ located in the front of your neck and releases hormones that control your metabolisms such as weight, breathing, heart rate, body temperature and nervous system.Who is at Risk?
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- A thyroid gland makes too much of the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
- The autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease
- Tumors of the ovaries or testes
- Benign tumors of the pituitary gland or thyroid
- A toxic nodular or multinodular goiter
- High dietary intake of iodine
- A pregnancy
- Fatigue or muscle weakness
- Hand tremors
- Weight loss
- Heart palpitations
- Skin dryness
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased bowel movements
- Skipping or light menstrual periods
- Development of a goiter. (An enlarged thyroid gland that feels like a swelling in the front of your neck)
Your doctor will diagnose you based on symptoms and physical exam. Other tests that may be ordered for further diagnosis include:
Treatment options include:Antithyroid drugs
- Cholesterol Level Test
- T4 and T3 Resin Uptake (T3RU) Tests
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Level Test
- Triglyceride Level Test
- Thyroid Scan
- CT Scan
- MRI Scan
These are drugs prescribed to inhibit the production of thyroid hormones. They are also known as thyrostatics. Thyroid tissue usually contains quite a substantial reserve of thyroid hormone and once thyrostatic are administered it can take weeks to become effective. In addition, the dose needs to be carefully titrated over some months, with regular visits to the doctor and blood tests to monitor results so as to prevent hypothyroidism.
- Beta-blockers: A patient suffering from hyperthyroidism can usually obtain immediate temporary relief before permanent treatment can take place. It is important to note that these drugs only reduce the symptoms and do not treat hyperthyroidism or any of its long-term effects if left untreated.
- Diet: People with autoimmune hyperthyroidism are advised not to make dietary changes and increase the intake of foods high in iodine. The use of iodized salt is also advised.
Surgery can be performed to remove a part of the thyroid or the whole thyroid a procedure known as a thyroidectomy. However, this is not extensively used because most common forms of hyperthyroidism are quite effectively treated by other methods.
- Side effects: There is a risk of also removing the parathyroid glands or cutting the recurrent laryngeal nerve. This results in difficulty in swallowing. Staphylococcal infection is also a risk as with any major surgery.
Radioactive iodine treatment is used to destroy the thyroid tissue. Initially, symptoms of hyperthyroidism may worsen following the treatment. This is because thyroid hormones are released into the blood following the radioactive iodine treatment. However, medications such as beta blockers may be useful during this period of time and most patients are able to tolerate the initial few weeks without any problems.
- Side effects: Breastfeeding women should discontinue breastfeeding because small amounts of radioactive iodine may be found in breast milk even several weeks after the radioactive iodine treatment. Other side effects include hypothyroidism, neck tenderness and sore throat.
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