24 Nisan 2012 Salı

Understanding Hyperthyroidism

The thyroid gland is an important organ in the body which belongs to the endocrine system. It is the gland that takes control of the use of energy in the body, production of proteins, and the rate of metabolism. The thyroid produces what is known as the thyroid hormone. Its functions affect the body's growth and development.

The two leading problems faced by the thyroid are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. An auto immune disease known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis or Hashimoto's disease is a disease that can lead to bouts of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. This article will focus on hyperthyroidism and its effects on the body.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid produces too much of the thyroid hormone. As is well known, anything in excess is not good and this situation is no different. This is a condition where the thyroid gland is too active to be good for the body.

An auto immune disease that leads to cases of hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease. An overactive thyroid can also be cause by excessive iodine intake. While iodine is needed for the thyroid gland to produce the thyroid hormone, too much iodine can lead to overproduction of the hormone which can lead to hormonal imbalance that is in no way good for the body.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

PalpitationsFatigueWeight changes, specifically weight lossHair falling outFrequent bowel movementsMuscle weaknessFeelings of nervousnessIntolerance to heatLack of sleep or insomnia

An individual experiencing hyperthyroidism has weight loss due to a fast rate of metabolism. This is also why one has more frequent bowel movements. In contrast, people who have hypothyroidism have slow metabolism rates which make them have weight gain and in times, experience constipation.

Increased rate of metabolism makes a person feel more hot that usual. This is why individuals with hyperthyroidism have heat intolerance. Increased metabolism rate also speeds up the heartbeat leading to palpitations that attribute to feelings of nervousness.

Treatments of hyperthyroidism include surgery if the gland is not yet permanently damaged, radioactive iodine intake, and thyroid hormone replacement drugs to neutralize the thyroid hormone levels in the body.

As in all health situations, prevention is always better than cure. To avoid hyperthyroidism, make sure that the body has the proper iodine intake for the right amount of thyroid hormones produced. Avoiding environmental factors like exposure to second-hand smoke and too much iodine in the diet can lessen the risks of hyperthyroidism as well.

Dr. Marc Ott, D.C. opened what is today Integrative Physical Medicine of Orlando, where he has been making changes in peoples lives by helping them overcome and in many cases reverse thyroid dysfunction.

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