What is Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is too much production of thyroid hormones, T4 and T3, from the thyroid gland.
What Causes Hyperthyroidism?
Causes of hyperthyroidism include:
- Graves’ disease
- Thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland)
- Toxic nodule
- Toxic multinodular goiter
- Too much thyroid hormone consumption
- Noncancerous growths of the pituitary gland
- Certain ovarian tumors
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Frequent bowel movements
- Enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter)
- Hair loss
- Hand tremors
- Heat intolerance
- Increased appetite
- Increased sweating
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Pounding or racing heart beat (palpitations)
- Sleep problems
- Unintentional weight loss
How does Dr. Kanji treat hyperthyroidism?
The treatment of hyperthyroidism is complex because it involves multiple factors. Most important is to identify the underlying cause of hyperthyroidism. Other factors that influence the treatment plan include the severity of the hyperthyroidism, age, presence of other medical conditions, and patient preference.
The 3 general treatment options are:
- Antithyroid medicines: Medications such as methimazole and propylthiouracil (PTU) work by blocking the thyroid gland’s ability to produce thyroid hormone.
- Surgery: Thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid gland) can permanently cure hyperthyroidism. Careful thought has to be given to the benefits/risks and choosing the correct surgeon.
- Radioactive iodine: The thyroid gland needs iodine to produce thyroid hormone. A radioactive form of iodine is given (usually in a capsule), and it is taken up by the thyroid gland. The radioactive iodine destroys the thyroid cells that take it up over the course of weeks to months.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hyperthyroidism
Why choose Dr. Aleem Kanji as your thyroid specialist?
Dr. Kanji is a board-certified endocrinologist that treats individuals with hyperthyroidism. He creates your customized plan with you by evaluating the underlying cause of hyperthyroidism, assessing the severity of the hyperthyroidism, and listening to and understanding your concerns and needs.
Will Dr. Kanji perform the surgery to remove my thyroid?
No. Dr. Kanji is an endocrinologist and not a surgeon. If you choose to treat hyperthyroidism with surgical removal of the thyroid (thyroidectomy), Dr. Kanji will work with you to choose the most trusted surgeon and create pre- and post-surgical plans for optimizing your thyroid hormone level.
How quickly should hyperthyroidism be treated?
Hyperthyroidism should be evaluated and treated promptly. In addition to the symptoms from hyperthyroidism that make you feel bad, hyperthyroidism increases the risk of health complications to the heart and bones.