Hyperthyroidism in Women

By: James Pendergraft

Hyperthyroidism refers to a situation wherein the thyroid gland has an overactive tissue that results in overproduction. This overproduction leads to an excess number of circulating free thyroid hormones. Because the thyroid hormone affects nearly all body cells, the result is that vital functions of the body also overdo their regular functioning.

One of the immediate impacts of hyperthyroidism is an increased heart beat rate, palpitations, ands sweating. Another impact is that it may overstimulate metabolism. In general, hyperthyroidism is more common in women than in men, and is especially common in women ages 20 to 40.

Causes of Hyperthyroidism

The following are the most common causes of hyperthyroidism:

* Inflammation of the thyroid
* Oral consumption of thyroid hormone tablets
* Malfunctioning or deficiencies in the immune system
* Hyperthyroidism may also happen when the body has taken a substance or is producing a substance that causes the thyroid gland to make more hormones than needed by the body.
* Due to tumor in the thyroid

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

One of the most common symptom of hyperthyroidism is unexplained weight loss. The weight loss is often accompanied by loss of appetite. Apart from these symptoms, the following are also indicators of the disease:

* Diarrhea
* Goiter or increase in the size of thyroid glands
* Fast heart rate or palpitation
* Tiredness
* Sleeplessness
* Anxiety
* Experiencing tremors in the body or feeling shaky
* Feeling sweaty and hot, especially even in comfortable situations
* A shortness of breath
* Irritation of the eyes
* Nausea and vomiting
* Loss of libido or the urge to have sex

Detection of Hyperthyroidism

Detection of hyperthyroidism is an important step toward finding a treatment for the disease. On the other hand, the inability to accurately detect the disease can lead to long-term effects, one of which is osteoporosis.

The following are the means to detect the presence of the disease in a woman:

* Based on family history. This is because the disease may be passed on from parent to offspring and from generation to generation.
* By physical examination. Although this is one of the easiest ways to detect the disease, it is often inaccurate in itself so laboratory tests and other supplemental procedures are needed to accurately pinpoint the presence of the disease.
* Through blood tests. During blood tests, the level of thyroid-stimulating hormones in the blood is monitored. If the level of the hormone is low, it indicates that something is inhibiting the pituitary glands to produce hormones and thus an indicator for having hyperthyroidism.
* Through measurement of specific antibodies.

Treatments for Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism can be cured through medication, therapy, or surgery, depending on the extent of the disease. When using medication to treat the disease, the most commonly prescribed drug is Thyrostatics. This drug is known to inhibit the production of thyroid hormones. However, the most effective method of treatment is still surgery. In surgeries, the tumor in the thyroid gland is removed.

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