Hyperthyroidism has been a focus of the Icelandic healthcare system in recent years and the government has been encouraging more knowledge of the situation.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptoms of hyperthyroidism include restlessness, a feeling of heat and increased heartbeat. Weight loss is also common despite increased appetite.
The disease is caused by excessive production of the body’s metabolic hormone thyroxine draft which is also simply known as thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are produced in the thyroid gland, which is located in front of the neck just below the larynx. Most patients although not all experience an expansion of the thyroid gland.
Increase in the size of the thyroid which causes a sharp increase in production of thyroid hormones (Struma diffusa toxic). Also called Basedow’s and Grave’s disease. This usually afflicts young people but is also known in the elderly. Abput 30% of patients also experience uncomfortability and dryness in their eyes and even a condition known as Exopthalamus.
It is not known with certainty what is the cause of hyperactivity in the thyroid but it is believed to be genetic while environmental factors might also be involved. It is 5-10 times more common among men than women, indications are that environmental factors such as smoking, certain medicine and too little ion can in some cases cause it.
– Anxiety, restlessness, difficulty concentrating.
– Shaking hands.
– radip Heartbeat, rapid regular pulse or rapid irregular pulse.
– Feeling hot, heat intolerance and sweating.
– Warm and moist skin.
– Weight loss despite increased appetite.
– Pain and fatigue in muscles.
– Menstrual disorders.
Thyroid hormoness affect many organs of the body and as such the symptoms may come simultaneously from many different organs (brain, heart, muscles,
etc.). In some people, especially the elderly, symptoms only occur at one or a few organs.
– Eating a healthy and varied food, especially a lot of fish.
– Quit smoking.
– Avoid medicine that contain a lot of iodine.
How to find out if someone has Hyperthyroidism
If your doctor suspects a case of hyperthyroidism, he will feel your neck to assess thyroid enlargement. Your doctor will look for and ask about eye problems. Blood samples will be taken to determine the amount of the hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland (thyroid stimulating hormone TSH ), also measured is the concentrations of thyroid hormones. If the thyroid gland is overactive, it is likely that the amount of the hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland is abnormally low compared with the normal amount of thyroid hormones
To ascertain what the cause is, it is necessary to perform detailed imaging of the
thyroid gland and ultrasound.
What is the treatment?
Usually hospitalization is not necessary. Nowadays there are three types of treatments:
One way to to reduce the formation of thyroid hormones with drugs such as Neo-Mercazole. With this the thyroid ususally return to normal after 1-2 months. Medications will be taking to 1-2 years or sometimes for life to maintain it normal. The thyroid must also be monitored every 1-2 months.
For young people with enlarged thyroid gland surgery is sometimes recommended.The surgery removes a large portion of the thyroid. Most achieve full recovery after the operation. The disease can however come back. After the surgery some suffer from thyroid underperformance. If this is the case the patient must take medicine like thyroxine-sodium or Liothyronin Nycomed Pharma for life.
Women get this treatment usually after menopause and men who are over 40 although it can in some cases be administrated to younger people. This treatment does not require hospitalization and involves the intake of radioactive iodine.Metabolism usually returns to normal after a few weeks or months.
One in five who get this treatment have an underperforming thyroid and as a consequence the thyroid must be monitored for life. Thyroxine-sodium and/or Liothyronin Nycomed Pharma) might also need to be taken in tablet form. In rare cases the condition becomes worse with symptoms in the eyes, here a treatment by corticosteroids is in order.
A treatment with radioactive iodine is safe and mild treatment.There has been no indication that the treatment causes cancer. Neither has been shown to cause chromosomal changes.