How to treat Hyperthyroidism

Michael Rosenberg
Michael Rosenberg

Specializes in translating complex information into readable, engaging content.

What is hyperthyroidism? 

Hyperthyroidism is the over functioning of the thyroid gland which leads to the excessive production of thyroxine hormone in the body. More than enough thyroxine brings imbalance in various other functions of the body including heart palpitations, higher blood pressure, weight loss, moist and warm skin, becoming oversensitive to heat and sleep disorders, etc.

Diagnosis of hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism can be diagnosed by physical examination and also by certain tests. The physician might try to find out a slight tremor in the fingers of the patient when they are in the extended form in order to diagnose hyperthyroidism. Also, they will examine the patient while swallowing a certain thing that determines whether the throat becomes bumpy or not. They can also check the heart rate of the patient whether it is rapid or not. Such thyroid-related diseases sometimes have a lot to do with the medical history and family background in terms of the particular disease too. The doctor might ask about the family’s health details in order to get a clear idea about the patient’s actual problem.

Various tests 

As the disease is not easily distinguished just from its symptoms, there is a need for alternative ways to diagnose hyperthyroidism. Blood tests of the patients are a good idea about determining the amount of thyroxine and thyroid-stimulating hormone in the blood of the patient. If the levels of thyroxine are higher and the levels of the thyroid-stimulating hormone are lower, then this indicates hyperthyroidism.

The radioiodine uptake test is also very effective in identifying hyperthyroidism when a small dose of radioactive iodine is orally given to the patient and then he/she is examined after certain hours. If the accumulated iodine is very large than the normal/ideal amount, then the patient is suffering from hyperthyroidism or other diseases that involve the over-functioning of the thyroid gland. Methods like thyroid scan and thyroid ultrasound can also give a clear idea about the total production and functioning of the thyroid glands.

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How to treat hyperthyroidism

Several treatments are available for the better functioning of the thyroid glands and preventing them from producing excessive hormones that turn out to be health-damaging. The variety of the available treatments depend upon the age, medical background, and physical condition of the patient. Not all treatments would work for everyone, the choice should be made after thorough testing and detailed consultation with your physician. Some of the prominent treatments are given below:

Taking the radioactive iodine orally

This treatment of making the patient take a specified amount of the radioactive iodine orally is getting popular day by day. Radioactive iodine gets absorbed by the thyroid gland and it causes the gland to shrink. The extra amount of radioactive iodine disappears from the body after some weeks or months and the symptoms of the disease almost end up in a few months. This method is so efficient in controlling the over-production of thyroxine that its excessive use can lead to hypothyroidism which is the low production of thyroxine and in that case the patient might have to take thyroid replacement therapy. Hence, this treatment should only be performed after careful analysis of the severity of a person’s condition, and it should be ensured that no overtreatment is done.

Giving antithyroid medications to the patient

The use of medicines like methimazole, tapazole, and propylthiouracil can gradually lessen the hyperfunctioning of the thyroid glands by stopping them from producing extra amounts of thyroxine. Treating hyperthyroidism through such medicines can take some months to complete the disappearance of the symptoms. This treatment proves to be effective for some of the people permanently in that they get rid of the over-functioning of their thyroid glands and their symptoms do not appear again. Depending upon the medical history and family’s medical background, this might not prove to be the best treatment for some patients. Those who are allergic to the drugs might develop skin allergies, fever, joint pains, or different sorts of infections.

Using Beta Blockers

The use of such drugs helps in reducing the heart palpitations and higher blood pressure kind of disorders among the patients. As hyperthyroidism causes an increase in the heart rate and blood pressure, such drugs are recommended to control the heart rate and blood pressure and keep it normal in order to make the patient feel better. Such drugs are usually not recommended to people who are struggling with disorders like asthma. Also, the side effects of such drugs include tiredness and sexual dysfunction.

Treating hyperthyroidism through surgery

This way of treating hyperthyroidism is also referred to as thyroidectomy in which the surgeon removes most part of the thyroid gland of the patient. This method is applied to a few people who cannot cope with the medication or the radioactive iodine treatment such as pregnant women or patients with a sensitive medical background. The risks of this treatment include harm to the parathyroid glands which can result in the disturbance to the balance of calcium in the blood of patients. The patient might have to take medication on a regular basis in order to keep the calcium levels in the blood normal. Also, the patient might have to take levothyroxine on a daily basis forever to provide a sufficient level of thyroxine to their body because in the process of surgery their maximum part of the thyroid gland would be removed.

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Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism and Thyroid Tests


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