What Is Hyperthyroidism? Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment and More

The thyroid gland in the human body produces hormones. Different systems in the human body use these hormones. In thyroid disease, the thyroid gland produces too many or too few hormones. There are different thyroid diseases, including Hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and thyroiditis.

In Hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland starts to produce excess hormones. Many causes or factors can develop this condition over time in the human body. Grave's disease is one such condition. Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism are many factors or symptoms that can also result from anxiety. Other symptoms may be visible. Some of the most common symptoms of Hyperthyroidism are as follows −

  • Sudden and unusual loss of weight

  • Irregular heartbeats

  • Feelings of nervousness or irritability

  • Feeling fatigued along with excessive sweats

  • The skin turns warmer and moister than usual

  • The eyes become bulgy due to Grave's disease

  • The thyroid gland converts to a goiter due to swelling and iodine deficit in the body.

  • The person becomes more sensitive to heat or sunlight

  • Women notice changes in their menstrual cycles

  • Issues with a person's sleep cycles along with increased heart palpitations

Causes of Hyperthyroidism

Hypothyroidism can affect the nervous system. For example, it causes breathing difficulties and trouble walking and talking. It can also cause pain in the hands and feet. Hyperthyroidism is a type of medical condition that occurs by many factors. Some of these causes are as follows −

  • Grave's disease − It is the primary cause of Hyperthyroidism in the majority of cases. It is a disorder of the immune system. The immune system attacks the healthy tissues of the thyroid gland as a result of this condition. Because of this, the thyroid gland generates excessive hormones, ultimately leading to Hyperthyroidism.

  • Excess iodine − When a person takes in an excessive amount of iodine, he risks developing Hyperthyroidism. Iodine is an essential component for the production of hormones by the thyroid gland, which is one of the reasons some people develop Hyperthyroidism. Consuming an excessive amount of iodine leads to the thyroid gland producing an excessive amount of thyroid hormones.

  • Thyroiditis − Inflammation of the thyroid gland causes this condition. The person may or may not feel this. This condition develops in women after they undergo childbirth. This condition can also develop as a result of an autoimmune disease. Here, the thyroid gland produces too little or excess thyroid hormones for the human body.

  • Nodules − A nodule is an accumulation of cells, the presence of which may or may not result in cancer development. Within the thyroid gland, several nodules can be found. In most cases, the nodules found in the thyroid gland do not represent a malignant growth. These nodules tend to release excessive thyroid hormone when they become hyperactive. Hyperthyroidism is a condition that results from the production of an abnormally high number of thyroid hormones.

  • Other factors − Hyperthyroidism can be caused due to tumors in the ovaries or testes, high levels of T4 in the food, and also genetics can cause Hyperthyroidism.

Diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism

A doctor can diagnose the condition of Hyperthyroidism in many ways in a person. Some of these methods are as follows −

  • Physical tests or examinations − In this test, the doctor tests different parts of the human body. For example, bulgy eyes result from severe disease, irregular moisture, and warm skin. For example, feeling tremors near the fingers and hands and irregular heartbeats. Another example is an enlarged thyroid.

  • Blood tests or examinations − T3, T4, and TSH can detect hyperthyroidism. T3 and T4 blood tests determine the thyroid hormones present in the bloodstream. TSH blood test stands for Thyroid-stimulating hormones. This test checks how well a person's thyroid gland functions. The T3 and T4 levels are moderate for Hyperthyroidism, and TSH levels are lower.

  • Screening tests − A doctor can use screening tests such as a thyroid scan, CT scan, MRI scan, and ultrasound. A CT or MRI scan shows if a tumor is present in the pituitary gland. A thyroid scan shows if the thyroid gland is overactive or not. An ultrasound test takes a closer look at the nodules in the thyroid gland. Pregnant women or people who cannot take radiation can choose this test.

Treatment of Hyperthyroidism

When left untreated, Hyperthyroidism can also cause congestive heart failure. Hyperthyroidism can also cause depression, and it decreases brain functioning with time. A mild form of Hyperthyroidism can also affect the health of the heart.

Hyperthyroidism can also increase the risk of developing potential heart disease over time. People over the age of 60 and people who have type-1 diabetes are at a higher risk of developing Hyperthyroidism compared to others. The leading cause of extreme Hyperthyroidism is Myxedema; it slows the metabolism until the person falls into a coma.

There are many treatments available to treat Hyperthyroidism; the most common yet effective methods include medication, radioactive iodine, and surgery. The medications limit the hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Some of the medications used to treat this condition involve methimazole and propylthiouracil.

Radioactive iodine destroys the hormone cells in the thyroid. It does not cause harm to healthy tissues. During surgery, the doctor removes the thyroid gland from the person's body. A downside is that the person has to consume lifetime supplements.


The thyroid is a gland that is butterfly-shaped in structure. Different growth and metabolism processes use these hormones. Without any treatment, this condition can cause life-threatening complications. Hence, a person should treat his condition of Hyperthyroidism as soon as possible. The amount of time taken to heal this illness depends on the cause and overall medical condition of an individual.

Medication usually takes about 6 to 12 weeks to treat Hyperthyroidism. Radioactive iodine consumption takes about 7 to 10 days to treat. According to a study, Hyperthyroidism is often found more in females. Some complications are pregnancy complications, cancer, osteoporosis, and thyroid storm. To avoid these complications, a person must consult his doctor or healthcare provider and immediately begin the treatment.