Have you ever experienced sweating, rapid heartbeat, and nervousness all at once? You may think it’s because of that cup of coffee you just had. But, think again: it may be hyperthyroidism.
A clinic in American Fork specializing in diabetes management and thyroid disorders says endocrine disorders like hyperthyroidism are a result of hormone levels that are “either too high or too low”. When you have hyperthyroidism, your overactive thyroid produces more T3 (triiodothyronine) or T4 (thyroxine) than it should.
Both T3 and T4 are secreted into the bloodstream and travel to organs like the kidneys and the liver. These hormones play a role in metabolism. That is why when these are overproduced, metabolism accelerates significantly, resulting in sudden weight loss. Apart from this, the condition also has other indicators.
Common Signs and Symptoms
There are a lot of symptoms that come with this condition. A rapid heartbeat, which can lead to breathing problems, is one.
People with hyperthyroidism also have a low tolerance for heat, making them sweat more than most people. Additionally, the condition can impact mood, making a patient nervous, anxious, and irritable. On another note, women with irregular periods might also need assessment for this condition.
Diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism
If you suspect you have hyperthyroidism, a doctor will ask for your medical history and perform a series of physical exams. During the exams, the doctor checks your fingers for tremors or if you have overactive reflexes. The doctor will also examine the size of your thyroid and your pulse rate. Additionally, you will undergo a thyroxine test to measure the amount of T4 in your blood.
Treatment of the Condition
Hyperthyroidism can be managed with medications. In the US, there are two types of anti-thyroid medications: propylthiouracil (PTU) and methimazole. Both target the thyroid gland so it reduces production of T3 and T4 hormones. These medications may alleviate the symptoms gradually within three months and should be taken for the length of time prescribed by your doctor. If the condition is severe, a patient may have to undergo thyroid surgery.
Hyperthyroidism is a potentially severe condition, mainly because it causes abnormal heart rate and blood pressure. This is why you should not delay treatment. Seek consultation and a management plan, upon the first signs of the condition.