21 Nisan 2012 Cumartesi

How Hyperthyroidism Affects the Body

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The Importance of Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is directly related to our body's metabolism. The hormones the thyroid gland secretes are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are responsible for controlling the pace of how each body cell uses energy, a process more known as metabolism.

If the thyroid gland produces low hormones like in the case of hypothyroidism, the metabolism will be slower than usual causing weight gain. Whereas if it produces too much thyroid hormones as such in the case of hyperthyroidism, there will be an increase in metabolism causing weight loss.

What Hyperthyroidism is

This is a condition also known as hyperactive thyroid. From the word itself, hyper meaning over or too much, this condition means there is production of too much thyroid hormones in the body. This usually happens when there is already too much thyroid hormones circulating in the blood causing thyrotoxicosis.

Thyrotoxicosis then leads to hyperthyroidism. The two should not be mistaken to be the same. Thyrotoxicosis could be a result of plain inflammation of the thyroid gland causing release or the hormones or too much intake of exogenous thyroid hormone.

What Causes Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism can be that the whole gland is producing too much hormones or there is only a single nodule producing more than enough hormones. When this happens, the single nodule is called "hot nodule".

Here are some of the usual causes of hyperthyroidism:

Too much iodine intakeGraves' disease - An autoimmune disease that is known to be the most common culprit in hyperthyroidism.Thyroiditis - Thyroid gland inflammation from viral infections or other auto-immune disease such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis or Hashimoto's disease. This can also be from a more subacute form called DeQuervain's thyroiditis.Noncancerous growths of thyroid or pituitary glandToxic thyroid adenomaToxic multinodular goiterPostpartum thyroiditis - This has several phases. The hyperthyroidism phase usually resolves on its own.

What the Effects of Hyperthyroidism are

Hyperthyroidism can either be symptomatic or asymptomatic. It can be acute or chronic depending on the length the thyroid gland has been producing more than normal amounts of the hormones. The symptoms usually begin slowly and are not noticeable as can be largely attributed to stress only. As time goes by that this is undetected, the symptoms will become more pronounced.

Here are some of the symptoms or effects of hyperthyroidism:

Nervousness and anxietyDifficulty concentratingWeight loss despite an increased appetiteIrritabilityIncreased perspirationGoiter - A visible enlargement of the thyroid gland in the neckExophthalmos - protruding eyesMuscle weakness more so in the upper arms and thighsMenstrual cycle variations - lightening of menstrual flow and less frequent periods

Dr. Jonathan Berns, D.C. helps people everyday in the Tampa, Florida area overcome the very misunderstood and often mistreated conditions caused from dysfunctional thyroids. Visit Tampa Thyroid Program at Integrative Physical Medicine of Tampa to learn more about thyroid management.

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