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Hyperthyroidism

What is hyperthyroidism? Hyperthyroidism means your thyroid makes too much thyroidhormone. Your thyroid is a gland in the front of your neck . It controls your metabolism, which is how your body turns food into energy. It also affects your heart, muscles, bones, and cholesterol. Having too much thyroid hormone can make a lot of things in your body speed up. You may lose weight quickly, have a fast heartbeat, sweat a lot, or feel nervous and moody. Or you may have no symptoms at all. While your doctor is doing a test for another reason, he or she may discover that you have hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is easily treated. With treatment, you can lead a healthy life. Without treatment, hyperthyroidism can lead to serious heart problems, bone problems, and a dangerous condition called thyroid storm. What causes hyperthyroidism? Graves' disease causes most hyperthyroidism. In Graves? disease, the body's natural defense (immune) system attacks the thyroid gland. The thyroid fights back by making too much thyroid hormone. Like many thyroid problems, it often runs in families. Sometimes hyperthyroidism is caused by a swollen thyroid or small growths in the thyroid called thyroid nodules. This topic focuses on hyperthyroidism caused by Graves' disease. What are the symptoms? You may have no symptoms at all. Or:       You may feel nervous, moody, weak, or tired. Your hands may shake, your heart may beat fast, or you may have problems breathing. You may be hot and sweaty or have warm, red, itchy skin. You may have more bowel movements than usual. You may have fine, soft hair that is falling out. You may lose weight even though you eat the same or more than usual. If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor. Without treatment, hyperthyroidism can lead to heart problems, bone problems, and a dangerous condition called thyroid storm. How is hyperthyroidism diagnosed? Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and do a physical exam. Then he or she will order blood tests to see how much thyroid hormone your body is making. Sometimes hyperthyroidism is found while you are having a test for another reason. You may be surprised to find out that you have this problem. How is it treated? If your symptoms bother you, your doctor may give you pills called beta-blockers. These can help you feel better while you and your doctor decide what your treatment should be. Hyperthyroidism can lead to more serious problems. So even if your symptoms do not bother you, you still need treatment.

Antithyroid medicine works best if your symptoms are mild. you still need treatment. For some people. Most people are cured after taking one dose. if you are younger than 50. These tests check to see if your hyperthyroidism has come back. Discuss the benefits and risks of each kind of treatment with your doctor. In rare cases.   Radioactive iodine is the most common treatment. if this is the first time you are being treated for Graves' disease. If they stop working. Antithyroid medicine and radioactive iodine are the ones doctors use most often. . or if you have thyroid nodules (toxic multinodular goiter) that are releasing too much thyroid hormone. Each kind of treatment has benefits and risks. surgery may be done. or dry eyes. your doctor may recommend you take antithyroid medicine first to help you feel better. you may need to take thyroid hormone pills for the rest of your life. Treatment Overview There are three treatments for hyperthyroidism. If you have a lot of symptoms. After treatment. It destroys part of your thyroid gland. Radioactive iodine is not used if: You are pregnant or you want to become pregnant within 6 months of treatment. tremors. o o o Hyperthyroidism: Should I Use Antithyroid Medicine or Radioactive Iodine? If you have symptoms such as a fast heartbeat. how much thyroid hormone your body is making. what is causing your hyperthyroidism. Initial treatment Initial treatment for hyperthyroidism usually is antithyroid medicine or radioactive iodine therapy. Some people need more than one kind of treatment. So even if your symptoms are not bothering you. but it does not harm any other parts of your body. But they do not always work. or if your thyroid gland is only swollen a little bit (small goiter). and you have to take them at the same time every day. more than one kind of treatment may be needed. Surgery is not usually part of initial treatment. Sometimes treatment cures hyperthyroidism but causes the opposite problem-too little thyroid hormone.Radioactive iodine and antithyroid medicine are the treatments doctors use most often. Then you can decide whether to have radioactive iodine therapy. They also check to see if you are making enough thyroid hormone. You are breast-feeding. Or you may need surgery if a single large thyroid nodule is releasing too much thyroid hormone. If this happens. sweating. Radioactive iodine is often recommended if you have Graves' disease and are older than 50. You may need surgery if your thyroid gland is so big that you have a hard time swallowing or breathing. You have thyroiditis or another kind of hyperthyroidism that is often temporary.   Antithyroid medicines work best if you have mild hyperthyroidism. nervousness. you will need regular blood tests. The kind of treatment you have depends on your age. and other medical conditions you may have. Hyperthyroidism can lead to more serious problems. you may need to try radioactive iodine. you may take some additional medicines to treat those symptoms. These pills do not damage your thyroid gland. The best treatment for you will depend on a number of things. including your age.

Hypothyroidism is the opposite of hyperthyroidism-instead of making too much thyroid hormone. feel tired. Hypothyroidism is most common after treatment with radioactive iodine. Call your doctor if you have any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism such as gaining weight. After treatment with radioactive iodine. If you have lots of side effects from antithyroid medicines and radioactive iodine is not an option for you. For more information. These symptoms may mean you have hypothyroidism and you need to take a different medicine called thyroid hormone medicine. But the medicine does have some drawbacks. feeling tired.Sometimes treatment cures your hyperthyroidism but may cause hypothyroidism. But antithyroid medicine does not cause permanent thyroid damage. you can continue to take antithyroid medicine or you can try radioactive iodine therapy. These tests are a good way to know how well your treatment is working. Ongoing treatment During and after treatment for hyperthyroidism. You may take antithyroid medicine before you have radioactive iodine treatment or surgery-to bring your metabolism to normal. your body is now making too little thyroid hormone. you may develop hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone). or feeling cold more often than usual. Antithyroid medicine does control hyperthyroidism in many people. you may need to take thyroid hormone medicine for the rest of your life. . because it works more quickly than radioactive iodine therapy. But it can also occur after surgery and sometimes after taking antithyroid medicine. you will have regular blood tests to check your levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). If your symptoms do not go away after your initial treatment. you may need to repeat the treatment or try a different treatment.   If you have Graves' disease and have been taking antithyroid medicine but your hyperthyroidism has not improved. If you do have hypothyroidism. or feel cold more often than usual. Medications Antithyroid medicine is often used for hyperthyroidism. to make you feel better. Treatment if the condition gets worse If radioactive iodine or antithyroid medicines are not working well. you may need surgery to remove all or part of your thyroid gland (thyroidectomy). or to reduce the chances of more serious problems.  You have to take the medicine for at least 1 year. Be sure to call your doctor if you start to gain weight. You will also have regularthyroid hormone tests to check your levels of hormones called T4 and T3. Radioactive iodine therapy destroys part or all of the thyroid gland depending on the dosage used. you may need:   Another treatment of radioactive iodine. Surgery to remove all or part of your thyroid gland (thyroidectomy). see the topic Hypothyroidism.

Among other.3 Antithyroid medicine works best if you have mild hyperthyroidism. your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone. you can: . Hormones released by the gland travel through your bloodstream and affect nearly every part of your body. if this is the first time you are being treated for Graves' disease. Up to 30 out of 100 people in the United States will have their hyperthyroidism go away (go into remission) after taking antithyroid medicine for 12 to 18 months. It is hard to know how much medicine they need when they are growing so quickly. that you are taking the right amount of medicine. which can make it hard for your body to fight infection.. to your muscles and skin. also called underactive thyroid disease. you may need to use eyedrops to help moisten youreyes and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.. Recommended Related to Thyroid Disorders Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid) Hypothyroidism. Medication choices Antithyroid medicines Additional medicines What to think about      Antithyroid medicine may or may not make your hyperthyroidism permanently go away. from your heart and brain. if you are younger than 50. and that you are not having any side effects. The thyroid controls how your body's cells use energy from food. It is not used forthyroiditis. Children are treated with antithyroid medicine. ranging from a rash to a low white blood cell count. With hypothyroidism. a process called metabolism. To help reduce the symptoms ofhyperthyroidism. or if your thyroid gland is only swollen a little bit (small goiter). These medicines can help you feel better while you wait for another treatment to begin to work. There are some rare side effects from the medicine.breast-feeding. If you are taking antithyroid medicine. because experts do not know if radioactive iodine treatment is safe for children. Treating children with antithyroid medicine is challenging. Home Treatment Be sure to see your doctor regularly so he or she can be sure that your hyperthyroidism treatment is working. or trying to become pregnant. Read the Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid) article > > If you have Graves' ophthalmopathy. And then you have to start taking antithyroid medicine again or try a different treatment. The thyroid gland is located in the front lower part of your neck. take it at the same time every day.  Your symptoms may come back after you stop taking it. Antithyroid medicine is used instead of radioactive iodine if you are pregnant. is a common disorder. Your doctor may prescribe additional medicines to treat symptoms caused by hyperthyroidism. The medicine is much more effective in people with mild disease. such as rapid heartbeat or dry eyes. Your doctor may prescribe low doses of thyroid hormone medicine to take with your antithyroid medicine so that your thyroid hormone levels do not get too low.

see the topic Stress Management. see the topic Quitting Smoking. This helps relieve symptoms of anxiety and nervousness. Quit smoking. Caffeine can make symptoms worse. For more information.   Lower stress. . such as fast heartbeat. Avoid caffeine. nervousness. If you have Graves' diseaseand you are a smoker. you are more likely to develop Graves' ophthalmopathy. and difficulty concentrating. For more information.