Hyperthyroidism is a condition that develops when the thyroid gland produces excess amounts of thyroid hormones. Since thyroid hormones control the body’s metabolism, increased levels can change the rate of its various functions. There are several causes of hyperthyroidism including Graves’ Disease, thyroiditis and thyroid nodules.
Risk Factors of Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is more likely to occur in those who:
- Are over the age of 60 (more common in women than men)
- Have a family history of thyroid conditions or Graves’ disease
- Were previously diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder
- Consume a diet rich in iodine
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism vary in their severity. Common ones include:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Change in moods
- Fatigue and weakness
- Constant sweating
- Increased heart rate
- Frequent bowel movements
Diagnosis will begin with a physical exam by your primary care physician, during which they will talk with you about your symptoms. They will also request blood tests to measure thyroid hormone levels. Additional imaging may be required if the thyroid gland is swollen or inflamed.
Treatment Options for Hyperthyroidism
NorthShore’s expert team of board-certified endocrinologists works alongside your primary care physician to perform the necessary testing and imaging, including thyroid scans, to get a closer look at the gland and examine any growths or nodules to identify the cause of your hyperthyroidism and choose the best therapy options for your symptoms. We take a multidisciplinary approach that can involve the departments of ophthalmology, nuclear medicine and surgery, to determine the most effective medication, surgical procedures and therapies to balance your hormone levels.
For More Information
For more information on hyperthyroidism, please call 847.663.8540.