Hyperthyroidism: Warning Signs to Watch Out For
The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland that produces hormones that function as regulatory
hormones in that they control how the body utilizes its energy – in a word, it regulates the
body’s metabolic rate.
When the body produces too much of these thyroid hormones, this results in a medical
condition referred to as hyperthyroidism. A leading cause for this type of medical condition is
Hyperthyroidism in a Nutshell
This disease affects the autoimmune system in that it “directs” the thyroid gland to produce
more Thyroid Stimulating Hormones otherwise known as TSH – more than what is normally
needed by the body to function properly.
The result of which is that the body’s metabolism increases which in turn increases one’s
heart rate and also increases the rate by which the body transforms food into body fuel
thereby resulting in weight loss.
If left untreated, this disease can be fatal as it can cause serious heart problems. It may also
leave the body weak and the bones brittle over time, if proper treatment or medication is not
There are several graves disease symptoms to watch out for if you suspect that you may have
this type of autoimmune disease. One of the most common symptoms is weight loss without
reducing your usual food intake.
As a matter of fact, you may even find yourself going constantly hungry even if you have just
finished one full meal. This is because your body is burning fat and turning your food into
fuel at a faster rate.
Another common symptom is anxiety. You may find yourself getting more anxious or
nervous even without any trigger factor. Irritability and the inability to sleep at night are
likewise common warning signs.
As your metabolism increases, you become hyperactive, you experience palpitations, you may
become intolerant to heat which results in excessive sweating and you may also find your
hands shaking most of the time.
Some patients also experience depression, may become highly emotional and may often find
themselves losing their tempers over the smallest, nonsensical things.
If left untreated, other physical changes; apart from noticeable weight loss; include bulging
eyes and the hair becoming brittle.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Blood tests are often administered to individuals suspected of suffering from this disease. The
blood tests will check the T3, T4 and TSH levels produced by the thyroid gland to determine
how far-off the results are from the normal values.
From these results, proper medication will be prescribed by the doctor – usually an
endocrinologist – where the dosage is based on the severity of the disease.
Apart from medications, radioactive iodine or surgery may be recommended by the doctor,
again, depending on the severity of the disease and the patient’s response to medications.