The thyroid gland is a normal endocrine organ in the body. It is like a butterfly shape covering the front of the neck and trachea. It secretes thyroxine and controls the metabolism of the whole body, including organs or functions such as skin, heart, muscles, eyes, bones, and mental emotions.
Hyperthyroidism is a disease caused by excessive thyroid hormones, and women outnumber men by about five to one. There are several causes of hyperthyroidism, the most common of which is Graves’ disease, an autoimmune problem in which the body makes antibodies that stimulate the thyroid to make too much thyroxine. The reasons are related to genes, heredity, environment, smoking, stress, etc.
The early symptoms
The thyroid of patients with hyperthyroidism will secrete too much triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), which will increase myocardial oxygen consumption and increase the burden on the heart, which will lead to a series of heart problems such as chest tightness, shortness of breath, and palpitations, and symptoms and signs of the vascular system.
2. Weight loss, sweating
Patients with hyperthyroidism are prone to hunger, have a strong appetite, and eat more food, but their bodies are getting thinner and thinner. In addition, there is also the performance of being afraid of heat and sweating. Although the surrounding temperature is not high, often sweating profusely, the above symptoms appear, and you should be alert to the occurrence of hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism can also cause mental and emotional abnormalities, manifested as irritability, frequent tantrums due to trivial matters, easy to get anxious, in addition to nervousness, tremors, insomnia, memory loss, inability to concentrate, and other manifestations, which can occur in severe cases hallucinations.
Thyroid enlargement is also a typical symptom of hyperthyroidism. The patient’s thyroid gland is diffusely and symmetrically enlarged. In severe cases, it can cause pressure on the trachea, causing symptoms such as difficulty swallowing and shortness of breath.
5. Goldfish Eye
More than half of the patients with hyperthyroidism can have ‘goldfish eyes’, that is, the symptoms of protruding eyes. In addition, they can also be accompanied by symptoms such as decreased vision, tearing, and photophobia.
Of course, the best way to be certain about your symptoms is finding blood work near you, then take appropriate treatment measures.
There are three treatments for hyperthyroidism
1. Take antithyroid drugs
Inhibiting the thyroid from producing too much thyroxine can control the condition but cannot cure it. According to the blood draw, the doctor will consider stopping the medication when the condition is stable, and there may be a recurrence in the future. Some patients need to continue the medication for a lifetime, and some patients can stop medicine for several years. Some people with a special genetic constitution will have serious drug side effects such as allergies, jaundice, hepatitis, and leukopenia.
2. Radioactive iodine therapy
Eating radioactive iodine slowly destroys thyroid cells, and eventually, hypothyroidism occurs. Supplementary thyroxine drugs must be taken for life to maintain the normal metabolic balance of the human body. Usually, hyperthyroidism will not recur.
3. Surgery to remove the thyroid gland
After thyroidectomy, too much resection may lead to hypothyroidism, too little resection has a limited therapeutic effect, thyroid surgery may also injure the recurrent laryngeal nerve, cause hoarseness, or injure the parathyroid gland, the incidence rate is about 1%~3%.
Each of the three treatment methods has its advantages and disadvantages. At present, oral drugs are the first-line treatment. If the drugs cannot be controlled, or if the side effects of the drugs are particularly serious, surgery should be considered.