Hyperthyroidism Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

2019-02-08

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According to the American Thyroid Association more than 12% of the population in the United States will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime, and approximately 20 million Americans currently have thyroid disease while most of them, approximately 60%, may be unaware of it.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition where your thyroid makes too much T3 and T4 hormone, causing your body to ‘rev up’ and burn through energy faster than it should.  An easy way to remember what hyperthyroidism means is this: Hyper means overactive, like when you are feeling hyperactive. Unlike hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid. If you would like to learn more about hypothyroidism and the medications for treatment, click here.

What is the Thyroid and what does the Thyroid do?

In the center of the lower part of your neck is a butterfly shaped gland called the thyroid. The thyroid gland controls your body metabolism, heart rate, nervous system, weight, body temperature and breathing, as well as other functions within the body, by creating hormones known as T3 and T4. These hormones tell your body how much energy to use energy for different functions.  The level of thyroid hormones circulating in your body is controlled by the pituitary gland, located just at the base of your brain. If your thyroid hormone level is low, it will send Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) to your thyroid gland to tell it increase the production of T3 and/or T4 as needed.

Diagnosing and treatment for Thyroid Disease

If you or your doctors are concerned about your thyroid function, a simple test called a Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) blood test will give you quick answers. In fact, it may even detect a problem with your thyroid levels before you even notice symptoms.

What to ask your doctor about Hyperthyroidism

Your doctor and your pharmacist are there to work together for your ultimate wellness. Going to your doctor with a list of questions puts you in a better position to understand your condition and open a dialogue about the best treatment for your needs. Here are some questions to ask your doctor:

  • What caused my hyperthyroidism?
  • What do my blood test results mean?
  • What is my TSH level and what is my target TSH level?
  • How often should I have my blood tested?
  • How quickly can I expect to feel better?

Prescription Medication for Hyperthyroidism.

Again, based on your blood tests, your doctor will prescribe medication for your hyperthyroid condition. These medications may include, but are not limited to, methimazole or propylthiouracil.


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