Hormones are the chemical messengers your body uses to regulate many important functions like growth, sexual maturity, and metabolism. These chemicals are produced in your endocrine system, the group of glands, organs, and other parts of your body that are controlled by your brain through your hypothalamus.
Problems with your endocrine system can affect your body’s growth and normal function, creating conditions like hyperthyroidism. This condition causes you to produce more of certain hormones than your body needs and can be caused by a variety of other problems.
Residents of the Cypress, Texas, area dealing with hyperthyroidism can find help with Dr. Ranjit Grewal and the experienced staff at Houston Family MD. We are dedicated to bringing compassionate, skilled health care to your whole family.
To better understand hyperthyroidism and recognize the symptoms, let’s explore what it does to your body, its causes and signs, and how it can be treated.
Hyperthyroidism is also referred to as an overactive thyroid, because people dealing with this problem have their bodies flooded with too much of the hormone thyroxine. Important bodily functions like metabolic rate, heart function, digestive function, muscle control, brain development, and maintenance of your bones are regulated by thyroid hormones like thyroxine.
Hyperthyroidism happens when too much thyroxine is released into your bloodstream, which can lead to heart problems, brittle bones, eye problems, red, swollen skin, and thyrotoxic crisis (also called thyroid storm).
Conditions like Graves’ disease (which affects your immune system), Plummer’s disease (also known as toxic adenoma), and an inflammation of your thyroid called thyroiditis can lead to the increase of thyroxine that causes hyperthyroidism.
Other factors that can increase your risk include a family history of Graves’ disease and a personal history of certain chronic conditions (type 1 diabetes, pernicious anemia, and primary adrenal insufficiency). Hyperthyroidism is also far more common in women, with 2 in 100 women being affected as opposed to 2 in 1,000 men.
If you’re dealing with hyperthyroidism, you may experience a goiter (an enlarged thyroid gland), intolerance to heat, weight loss, increased appetite, an increase in bowel movements, irregular periods, rapid heartbeat, palpitations, fatigue, tremors, trouble sleeping, and irritability.
Several treatments are available for this condition, and they vary based on your specific age, physical condition, severity of illness, and underlying causes. Here are the options:
Antithyroid medications can be used to reduce the amount of hormones your thyroid produces, and beta blockers can ease the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
Radioactive iodine is an oral treatment that shrinks your thyroid gland, causing it to produce less hormones. Symptoms often clear up over the course of a few months, but it can cause your thyroid to create too few hormones (hypothyroidism).
Thyroidectomy is a rare option used when nothing else is effective, which requires removing a large portion of your thyroid gland. It would also require lifelong hormone treatments to keep your levels normal.
Whatever treatment option you end up needing, regular exercise and relaxation techniques can be very helpful as your body is healing from treatment.
Hyperthyroidism can create a multitude of problems if not treated, so if you’re dealing with this condition make an appointment with Dr. Grewal at Houston Family MD to get better. Call our office or schedule a visit online today.