Hyperthyroidism and Thyroid Illustration
Hyperthyroidism means your thyroid gland is too active. This tiny gland is found in your neck.
Hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis results from excess quantities of thyroid hormone in the body. This excess of hormones may be caused by tumors of the thyroid or rarely of the pituitary or ovaries, inflammation of the thyroid, or ingestion of excessive amounts of thyroid hormone or iodine. Those with increased thyroid hormone levels experience heat intolerance, increased energy, difficulty sleeping, diarrhea and anxiety. An overactive thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. This makes your metabolism work at a faster rate.
What causes hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism has several causes.
- Graves' disease. This is an autoimmune disorder. It is themost common cause of hyperthyroidism. It happens when an antibody overstimulates the thyroid. This condition is most often found in young to middle-aged women. It also tends to run in families.
- Toxic nodular goiter. This condition happens when 1 or more nodules of the thyroid gland become too active. Doctors do not know what causes this to happen.
- Thyroiditis. It occurs when the thyroid becomes irritated. It temporarily causes the thyroid to be overactive. The thyroid then often becomes underactive. Hyperthyroidism may occur for other reasons.
- Taking too much thyroid hormone medicine to treat an underactive thyroid
- Having too much iodine in your diet
- Having a benign tumor in the pituitary gland.