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Signs You May be Suffering From Overactive Thyroid

Signs You May be Suffering From Overactive Thyroid

Hyperthyroidism, also called overactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland produces excess hormones. It affects 1 out of 100 people, and the symptoms are easy to miss. If you suspect that you’re having thyroid trouble, it’s wise to seek care from a medical professional. 

Here at Howard Health and Wellness, board-certified internal medicine physician Corey Howard, MD,FACP, FMNM, FAARFM, can evaluate your thyroid and get you the answers and treatment to help you feel better and recover from hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism overview

To understand hyperthyroidism, it helps to learn more about the thyroid and its functions. Your thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland situated at the base of your neck. It’s job is to produce hormones that have a range of functions, including controlling body temperature, helping to regulate heart rate, and managing the rate at which you burn calories. 

Nearly every cell in your body has thyroid hormone receptors. Because thyroid hormones influence many functions, excess hormone production can have serious consequences.

What causes hyperthyroidism?

An autoimmune reaction where the immune system attacks the thyroid causing it to produce too much hormone is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Other causes include excess iodine intake, and certain tumors.  

Thyroid nodules are another cause of overactive thyroid. These small growths may develop on the thyroid and may produce too many hormones. Some thyroid nodules are harmless and do not produce any hormones. Having several thyroid nodules boosts the risk of overactive thyroid.

Sometimes hyperactive thyroid is the result of taking too much thyroid hormone replacement. It’s common for people who take hormone medicine for hypothyroidism to mistakenly take too much. If you take thyroid hormone medicine, check in with your doctor annually to have your thyroid hormone levels checked, and, if necessary, adjusted.

Some other medicines may also interact with thyroid hormone medicine to raise hormone levels. Ask your doctor about interactions any time you begin a new medicine.

Signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism causes various uncomfortable symptoms. If you have hyperthyroidism you may experience the following symptoms:

These symptoms are easily missed or attributed to other things such as stress. Talk to Dr. Howard about your symptoms. A simple blood test is used to check hormone levels and levels of autoimmune antibodies related to hyperthyroidism. 

Who is likely to develop hyperthyroidism?

Anyone can develop hyperthyroidism but women are much more likely to develop it than men. Other risk factors for hyperthyroidism include:

Older adults are also at risk for overactive thyroid.

Treating hyperthyroidism

Your treatment for hyperthyroidism will depend on the cause. Once the cause is established, Dr. Howard will create an appropriate treatment plan to bring your thyroid levels back into a normal range. 

Treatment for hyperthyroidism may include:

Anti-thyroid medication

Anti-thyroid medications such as Tapazole work to gradually bring down your thyroid levels, thus reducing your symptoms and lowering the risk for hyperthyroid complications. 

Radioactive iodine

This medication is taken once by mouth and works by shrinking the size of the thyroid gland. Radioactive iodine may cause the thyroid to become underactive. If it does, Dr. Howard will prescribe thyroid hormone replacement medication to take daily. 

If you have hyperthyroidism you’re in expert hands. Your care starts with a thyroid check-up and from there our team will get you on the road to wellness. Call or book online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Howard today. 

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