What Causes an Overactive Thyroid

What Causes an Overactive Thyroid

May 15, 2014 0

What Causes an Overactive Thyroid

An overactive thyroid is one extreme of glandular impairment. It’s not as common as an underactive thyroid; affecting just over two and a half million people out of the estimated 12 million suffering from thyroid conditions.  Doctor-NYC

Even so, it’s important to understand what causes this condition so that you can get it treated quickly and effectively before it develops into a thyroid disease.

What Does an Overactive Thyroid Look and Feel Like?

Thyroid conditions can be deceptively easy to miss until there are a cluster of uncomfortable and debilitating symptoms that just don’t go away. Realistically, there are more than 300 possible symptoms of a thyroid condition.

According to Everyday Health, signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism can include:

  • Anxiousness, irritability, and nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Thinning hair
  • Diarrhea or an increase in bowel movements
  • Weight loss, despite a good appetite
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular periods
  • Frequent sweating and feeling hot
  • Muscle pain or weakness

What Causes Hyperthyroidism?

Thyroid function can be affected by a number of other factors, including:

  • An autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid, such as Graves’ disease
  • An infection that irritates the thyroid gland and causes too much hormone to be released
  • Medications including iodine pills, artificial thyroid hormone, and amiodarone
  • Benign growths on the thyroid or pituitary gland that cause the thyroid to produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormone

Graves’ disease often develops as a result of untreated overactive thyroid function. It occurs when natural antibodies that defend your functions begin attacking healthy tissue.

Anemia, as indicated in your blood work, might be one of the first signs that Graves’ disease has begun. With treatments, patients can go into a sort of remission when their medication is well-balanced. However, your thyroid condition will need to be watched and managed for life. If it’s not, thyroid problems can recur later in life.

Usually, if these problems come back they attack the thyroid in the other direction. Meaning: you go from having an overactive gland, to an underactive one.

There’s a lot that we don’t know about what causes these changes, but the more we study the signs and symptoms and make patients aware, the greater our chance of finding a way to eliminate the problem, not just stabilize it with medication.

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