Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) is a condition when there is too much thyroid hormone in your body. The thyroid hormone plays an important role in your body metabolism.
Click to view TEDvideo on How the Thyroid Manages your Metabolism
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can be vague, mild and difficult to diagnose.
- Unexplained weight loss despite increased in appetite
- Rapid heartbeat or funding heartbeat (known as palpitations)
- Irregular heartbeat (known as arrhythmia)
- Feeling anxious or irritable or change of mood
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mild tremor in your fingers or hand
- Feeling hot or sweaty
- Thin or dry skin
- Fine brittle hair which breaks easily
- Changes menstrual cycle in young women
- Thyroid eye disease (known as Grave’s disease) with dry eye symptoms, bulging eyes with fatty deposits around the eyelids or difficulty moving the eyes which feel tight causing double vision
- There may be a swelling of your thyroid called by goitre.
- Blood tests to measure your thyroid hormones (T3 / T4) and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). The blood tests need to be taken regularly to monitor the condition.
- Thyroid Ultrasound
The treatment options which depends on your age, the cause of the disease and the severity of your disorder. Discuss with your doctor which is best suited for you.
1. Radioactive iodine drink which is taken by mouth will cause your overactive thyroid gland to shrink and stop producing the thyroid hormone. Symptoms usually improve within a few months but you may need to take replacement thyroid hormone medication at a later date.
2. Anti-thyroid medications can stop your thyroid gland from overproducing thyroid hormones. These include Methimazole (Tapazole) and Propylithiouracil. These need to be prescribed by your doctor because the dosage depends on your blood test results and doctor’s examination.
3. Beta blocker medication to improve the tremor and reduce your heart rate and palpitations.
4. Surgery (thyroidectomy) to remove your overactive goitre gland
How to look after yourself the you have Thyroid disease
You can adopt a more healthy lifestyle which can help you cope better. These include
- Stop smoking as smoking is associated with Grave’s Thyroid Eye disease
- Keep your eyes lubricated regularly to prevent drying and scratchy feeling (https://blog.teleme.co/2019/02/20/eye-drops-how-to-apply/)
- Wear sunglasses outdoors to prevent from the sun and wind making the dryness worse
- Use moisturisers on your skin to keep your skin moist and prevent dryness
- Learn some relaxation techniques to improve your sleep if you have trouble sleeping (https://blog.teleme.co/2019/06/11/meditation-to-help-you-sleep/)
Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such.
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