The thyroid gland produces hormones for the entire body, and they are found in every cell. The average human has 45-50 hormones that regulate the body and almost 20 steroids that assist in the general function the body. The two main hormones that are produced are T3-T4, and they come from thyroxine, which is mainly responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism.
There are two common thyroid diseases: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is caused by an underactive thyroid, which reduces the ability to produce hormones, and it slows every system in the body. If it gets severe, coma and death could occur. (Wiki.com)
What is Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is caused by an overactive thyroid, which produces too much of the primary hormone thyroxine. Thyroxine is essential in the development and growth of each cell, which makes the thyroid vital to the life of the individual, but excessive amounts are dangerous. (Mayoclinic.org/diseases)
Signs and Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
Many people who develop symptoms of an overactive thyroid gland do not notice them right away. It may take several months or up to a year to be diagnosed, and if they are not aware of the symptoms, then they can be misdiagnosed. Physicians recommend having a TSH blood test on the thyroid hormones annually for a current diagnosis.
Because the thyroid is required in every cell, an overactive thyroid accelerates the entire body’s metabolism. Other common symptoms are a rapid or irregular heartbeat, which will wear down the heart, irritability due to hyperactivity, excessive nervousness, excessive hunger, but quick weight loss. These symptoms don’t appear serious, but if they go untreated for long periods of time, the body will begin to show wear and tear, which will create other diseases in different areas of the body as well.
Achieving the correct diagnosis for hyperthyroidism is the first step, and not as easy as it may sound. Uneducated doctors miss the symptoms and diagnose hyperthyroidism as stress, which does not allow the patient the benefit of the blood test. A doctor might also simply feel the thyroid, which is located in front of the Adam’s apple without a thyroid examination. It is important to ensure that the physician completes and examines using all the methods available. He/She needs to include a clinical exam with blood work, thyroid imaging tests and thorough consideration of family and personal history to complete a thorough exam. (WebMD.com)
Many years ago, thyroid disease was considered only a disease for older women, but in 2014, the disease affects all ages, races and genders. (Mayoclinic.org/diseases) As a conscientious patient, who is experiencing these symptoms, you may have to ask your physician if thyroid disease could be cause. It is estimated that over 27 million Americans have been diagnosed with thyroid disease, so if you have never been tested for hyperthyroidism, and you see signs, talk your doctor to catch the disease early.