Hyperthyroidism: What is it & the Causes Behind it?


Are you gaining weight unnecessarily? Are you remaining stressed over the whole period and not able to work throughout the day? The time has come for you to know that Hyperthyroidism is the cause to all your problems.

Time to understand your root cause which is involving and hindering your health. Hyperthyroidism has been involved in harming the physical health of many of its patients, resulting in deteriorating health. Worry not, you have come to the right place which will help you to improve your condition and become better.

Hyperthyroidism occurs due to abnormalities in the functioning of the thyroid gland. This gland is located just in front of our neck. This gland releases the hormones thyroxin (T-4) and triiodothyronine (T-3) into our body. The thyroid hormone has a far-reaching influence on human health. It controls metabolism, breathing, heart rate, nervous system, weight, body temperature, etc.

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism:

The symptoms of hyperthyroidism are similar to many other health problems. The symptoms that make hyperthyroidism challenge is to diagnose. The symptoms include unnatural weight loss, rapid heart rate, arrhythmia, palpitation of heart, anxiety, irritation, excessive sweating, problems in the menstrual system, extreme sensitivity to heat, frequent bowel movement, tiredness, weaknesses, thinning of hair, sleep disorder, etc. It can affect the eyes, cause Grave’s Ophthalmopathy. This can show symptoms like dry eyes, red eyes, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, etc.

How is Hyper Thyroidism Diagnosed?

Thyroid hormones play an active role in the human body. If there is any problem in the functioning of the hormone, then the early diagnosis can save a person from a serious health disaster. If hyperthyroidism diagnoses a timely, then it may lead to complications like osteoporosis and cardiac diseases. To diagnose hyperthyroidism, the following things are required to perform:

A full-scale analysis of history and symptoms is to be done by the physician. Then physical examination is done.

A scan of the thyroid gland with the help of nuclear medicine can detect the problem.

A blood test is done to measure the thyroid hormones like:

  • Thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH)
  • Thyroid hormone Triiodothyronine (T-3)
  • Thyroid hormone Thyroxine (T-4)
  • Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody (TPO)

Who Are at Risk of Hyperthyroidism?

  • Anyone who has a family history of thyroid disease
  • A person who has a vitamin deficiency
  • Having Type-I diabetes
  • Having adrenal gland disorder
  • Having swollen thyroid gland or goitre
  • Consuming excessive iodine
  • Older adults generally over sixty years of age
  • Serious Complications of Hyperthyroidism


The following are the complications of hyperthyroidism if not treated:

  • Grave’s Ophthalmopathy or thyroid eye disease
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Thinning of bones and osteoporosis
  • Muscle weaknesses
  • Chronic skin, hair, and nail problem
  • Weight fluctuations

Causes of Hyperthyroidism

There are many causes of hyperthyroidism. The leading causes of hyperthyroidism are as follows:

1. Grave’s Disease: it is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It causes due to auto-immune problem, which leads to the generation of excessive thyroid hormones. It is more likely to affect women under the age of 40. In this condition, the thyroid gland loses its ability to react to the expected response of the pituitary gland. The antibodies that characterize Grave’s Disease are thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI antibody), Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody (TPO), and TSH receptor antibodies. Grave’s Disease is generally hereditary, and a standard nuclear medicine thyroid scan diagnoses it.

2. Over-active thyroid nodules: These are lumps of growth of cells on the thyroid glands. They are generally benign. When they become overactive, they make excessive thyroid hormones which lead to hyperthyroidism. We can find these nodules in older adults.

3. Thyroiditis: Swelling or inflammation of thyroid glands is called thyroiditis. This inflammation can occur due to any infection or problem in the immune system. When the thyroid is inflamed, the hormone leaks from the gland, leading to higher thyroid hormones in the body, creating hyperthyroidism. Thyroiditis can occur post-childbirth and on taking heart medication.

The inflammation of the thyroid gland can occur in the following ways:

Subacute thyroiditis: An enlarged thyroid from viral or bacterial infection. Postpartum Thyroiditis: After giving birth to a child

Silent Thyroiditis: Again, an enlarged thyroid due to an auto-immune condition.

Increased iodine consumption: Certain food and medicines contain too much iodine that can trigger hyperthyroidism.

Increased thyroid hormone medicine: Patients taking thyroid medication to correct thyroid hormones can develop hyperthyroidism.

Treatment for Hyperthyroidism

Medicines for hyperthyroidism:

These include antithyroid medication, which helps the thyroid gland to make fewer hormones. People take the pill continuously for some years and, in some cases, lifelong. In addition, Methimazole and Propylthiouracil (PTU) are used to block thyroid hormones. Sometimes these medicines can cause allergic reactions and itching.

Beta-blockers: Beta-blockers relieve symptoms like tremors, fast heartbeat, anxiety, and nervousness in case of hyperthyroidism.

Radioactive Iodine: In this case, a small amount of radioactive iodine makes itself swallow to a patient. Those thyroid cells, which are over-active, consume them and get destroyed. It helps to produce thyroid cells and reduce thyroid hormones. Sometimes it may lead to hypothyroidism, but it helps to treat hyperthyroidism. Generally, the dose of radioactivity used in radio-iodine is shallow and doesn’t harm a person.

Surgery: Surgery is another method for treating hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland is removing it through surgery, and this usually corrects it. This surgery performs itself on people who have a goitre. If a person removes the thyroid gland, they have to take medicines for the rest of their lives to keep them balanced.

How Long Does it Take to Treat Hyperthyroidism?

The time taken to treat hyperthyroidism depends on its causes. If antithyroid drugs are consumed properly, then thyroid hormones get controlled within 6-12 weeks. Short-term solutions include higher doses of the medicine to normalize the hormonal imbalance within a week. But to date, thyroid surgery is believed to be the best remedy for hyperthyroidism.

Final Word:

If you are looking for expert advice, you can ask doctors online on the Ask Vaidya online consultation App. Almost 80 per cent of the issues related to hyperthyroidism through these modes. Use the Ask Vaidya app to get solutions to your every query.

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