What is Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is also known as overactive thyroid or hyperthyreosis. It is the condition occurs due to excessive production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. Read now Hyperthyroidism causes, signs and symptoms, home remedies and treatment etc. everything you need to know.
The signs and symptoms of thyroidsm vary between people and may include irritability, muscle weakness, sleeping problems, a fast heartbeat, poor tolerance of heat, diarrhea, enlargement of the thyroid, and weight loss. There are three main treatment options which are radioiodine therapy, medications, and thyroid surgery. Hyperthyroidism Treatment depends on the severity of the disease.
- a swelling in your neck caused by an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
- an irregular and/or unusually fast heart rate (palpitations)
- twitching or trembling
- warm skin and excessive sweating
- red palms of your hands
- loose nails
- a raised, itchy rash – known as hives (urticaria)
- patchy hair loss or thinning
- weight loss – often despite an increased appetite
- eye problems, such as redness, dryness or vision problems
- Unintentional weight loss, even when your appetite and food intake stay the same or increase
- Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) — commonly more than 100 beats a minute
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Pounding of your heart (palpitations)
- Increased appetite
- Nervousness, anxiety, and irritability
- Tremor — usually a fine trembling in your hands and fingers
- Changes in menstrual patterns
- Increased sensitivity to heat
- Changes in bowel patterns, especially more frequent bowel movements
- An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), which may appear as a swelling at the base of your neck
- Fatigue, muscle weakness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Skin thinning
- Fine, brittle hair
Potential causes of Hyperthyroidism
Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder and is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism where your immune system attacks the thyroid and causes it to make too much thyroid hormone.
Overactive thyroid nodules
Thyroid nodules are lumps in your thyroid and are common and usually benign, meaning they are not cancerous. However, one or more nodules may become overactive and produce too much thyroid hormone which can be often found in older adults.
Thyroiditis is inflammation of your thyroid where stored thyroid hormone leaks out of your thyroid gland. The hyperthyroidism last for 3 months, after that thyroid may become underactive, a condition called hypothyroidism which usually lasts 12 to 18 months, but sometimes is permanent.
Types of thyroiditis that first causes hyperthyroidism and then cause hypothyroidism:
Subacute thyroiditis: Subacute thyroiditis is a condition which involves a painfully inflamed and enlarged thyroid. Experts are not sure what causes it, but it may be an infection caused by a virus or bacteria.
Postpartum thyroiditis: This thyroiditis develops after a woman gives birth.
Silent thyroiditis: This type of thyroiditis is called “silent” because it is painless but it may be enlarged. Expert’s often thinks silent thyroiditis as an autoimmune condition.
Too much iodine
The thyroid gland uses iodine to make thyroid hormone. This depends on the amount of iodine you consume. This affects the amount of thyroid hormone your thyroid makes. Consuming huge quantity of iodine may cause the thyroid to make too much thyroid hormone. In some cases; some medicines and cough syrups contain a lot of iodine.
Complications involved in Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism includes the number of complications. Some of them are listed below
Heart problems: The most serious complications of hyperthyroidism involve the heart. A rapid heart rate and a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation that increases your risk of stroke, and congestive heart failure. It is a condition in which your heart can’t circulate enough blood to meet your body’s needs.
Brittle bones: Untreated hyperthyroidism can also lead to weak, brittle bones (osteoporosis) where the strength of your bones depends. In part, it also affects the bones where the amount of calcium and other minerals they contain. The more the thyroid hormone obstructs your body, the lesser will be the ability to incorporate calcium into your bones.
Eye problems: For the patients who are suffering from Graves ophthalmopathy eye problems, including bulging, red or swollen eyes, sensitivity to light, and blurring or double vision will develop. Ignoring these eye problems can lead to vision loss.
Red, swollen skin: It is a rare case in the people with Graves’ disease which develop Graves’ dermopathy. This condition affects the skin, causing redness and swelling, often on the shins and feet.
Thyrotoxic crisis: Hyperthyroidism places you at risk of thyrotoxic crisis. It is a sudden intensification of symptoms which may lead to a fever, a rapid pulse, and even delirium. In this case, seek immediate medical care.
Common Tests for Diagnosing Hyperthyroidism
- In Hyperthyroidism, Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) produced by the pituitary will be decreased. Due to which, the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism is closely associated with a suppressed TSH level. If it is not low, then other tests must be run.
- Thyroid hormones themselves (T3, T4) will be increased, for a patient with hyperthyroidism. They must have high thyroid hormone levels and in rare cases, all of the different thyroid hormones are not high but only one or two of the different thyroid hormone measurements are high. This is not too common that the people with hyperthyroidism have all of their thyroid hormone measurements high (except TSH)
- Iodine thyroid scan to know whether the cause is a single nodule or the whole gland
Foods to eat if you have hyperthyroidism
- Non-iodized salt
- Coffee or tea (without milk or dairy- or soy-based creamers)
- Egg whites
- Fresh or canned fruit
- Unsalted nuts and nut butters
- Homemade bread or breads made without salt, dairy, and eggs
- Popcorn with non-iodized salt
- Maple syrup
- Bamboo shoots
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Collard greens
- Dried beans
- Green leafy vegetables
- Poultry, such as chicken and turkey
- Red meat
- Whole grains
- Brazil nuts
- Chia seeds
- Meat, such as beef and lamb
- Oat bran
- Poultry, such as chicken and turkey
- Sunflower seeds
- Cocoa powder
- Pumpkin seeds
- Collard greens
- White beans
- Calcium-fortified orange juice
- Almond milk
- Calcium-fortified cereals
- Vitamin D-fortified orange juice
- Vitamin D-fortified cereals
- Beef liver
- Fatty fish
- Flaxseed oil
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Unsalted nuts and seeds
- Green chilies
- Black pepper
Foods to avoid if you have hyperthyroidism
- Milk and dairy
- Egg yolks
- Iodized salt
- Iodized water
- Some food colorings
- Amiodarone (Nexterone)
- Cough syrups
- Medical contrast dyes
- Herbal or vitamin supplements
- Processed meats (sausage, bacon, salami, pepperoni)
- Brewer’s yeast
- Soy milk
- Soy sauce
- Soy-based creamers
Naturally way to Treat Thyroid Problems
Diet is a great place to start but for complete healing of any disease, you have to go much deeper. First things first, you have to consider food to be your medicine and get off all processed junk food, sugar as it sends you on a hormonal rollercoaster ride and gluten.
The Daily Living Eating Plan is a great place to start along with l-glutamine which is a key amino acid that reduces cravings for high-glycemic carbohydrates and helps kick the sugar habit. If you are looking to go deeper, here are some tips to heal the thyroid:
- Eat sea vegetables twice a week as they are good natural source of iodine to support the thyroid
- Add a piece of kombu to a pot of beans or soup during cooking
- Sprinkle kelp granules over your salads or hot dishes just like you would use salt
- Making a nori wrap (this is what’s used to wrap sushi)
- Don’t be afraid of butter because endocrine system loves butter
- Skip the kale smoothies and salads, and eat your greens cooked instead because cruciferous vegetables contain goitrogens that may disrupt the thyroid if consumed in large quantities
- Sit down, slow down, savor, breathe and chew your food because the thyroid is the master of your metabolism
- Drop down your cell, use the headset instead because the little radiation machine that you hold up to your ear is awfully close to your thyroid gland as well
- Do Yoga especially shoulderstand (sarvangasana) is beneficial for stimulating the thyroid gland
- Ashwagandha helps low cortisol and balance T4 levels
- For 10% of people, the mineral iodine can resolve thyroid dysfunction. This should not be taken with Hashimotos disease
- Selenium is necessary for the production of the T3 thyroid hormone.
- An amino acid used in the synthesis of thyroid hormones
- Essential fatty acids found in fish oil are critical for thyroid function
- Vitamin B12 and thiamine are important for neurological function and hormonal balance
- Probiotics can help heal the gut and aid in nutrient absorption while reducing inflammation
- Rub these directly on the thyroid, which is located at the front lower part of your neck
- Try rubbing directly on the thyroid area along with the reflexology points on the feet (big toes) and on the wrists multiple times per day
What is Hashimoto’s?
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease which is inherited from our biological ancestors. While it might be written in our genes and may be a combination of multiple genetic mutations we inherit, it is the environment we live in that will serve as a trigger to this condition.
Who is more likely to develop hyperthyroidism?
The following persons are more likely to have hyperthyroidism if they
- have a family history of thyroid disease
- have other health problems, including
- pernicious anemia, a condition caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency
- type 1 diabetes
- primary adrenal insufficiency, a hormonal disorder
- eat large amounts of food containing iodine, such as kelp, or use medicines that contain iodine, such as amiodarone, a heart medicine
- are older than age 60, especially if you are a woman
- were pregnant within the past 6 months
What are the symptoms of Grave disease?
- Bulging of your eyes (exophthalmos)
- A gritty feeling or pain/pressure in your eyes
- Redness or inflammation in or around your eyes
- Puffiness or retraction of your eyelids
- Sensitivity to light
- Double vision or loss of vision
Which types of doctors treat hyperthyroidism?
- Endocrinologists are specialists in diagnosing and treating hormonal disorders such as hyperthyroidism.
- Primary care physicians, including family practitioners
- Internists may also be involved in treating patients with hyperthyroidism.
- Ophthalmologists and ophthalmic surgeons may be involved in the care of patients with Graves’ disease.
Where is the thyroid gland located?
The thyroid gland is located under Adam’s apple present in the lower part of the neck and wraps around the windpipe (trachea).
Which is more common? Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is more common than Hyperthyroidism.
What are the different types of thyroid cancer?
- Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC)
- Follicular or Hurthle cell cancers
- Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC)
- Anaplastic thyroid cancer
What are normal thyroid levels?
- Serum thyroxine (T4) – 5-12 nanograms per deciliter
- Free thyroxine fraction (FT4F) – 0.03%
- Free Thyroxine (FT4) – 0.7-1.9 ng/dl
- Free Thyroxine index (FT4I) – 4-12 nanograms per deciliter
- Serum Triiodothyronine (T3) – 80-180 nanograms per deciliter
- Radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU) – 10-30%
- Serum thyrotropin (TSH) – 0.7-5 uU/ml
- Serum thyroglobulin l (Tg) – 0-30 ng/m