In an overactive thyroid, medically called hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland produces more hormones than are required by the body. The peak incidence is between 20 and 40 years of age; Women are five times more often affected than men.
Below the larynx in the throat is about 60 gram thyroid gland, which responsible for the production of the two hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine is. When the body needs energy, they enter the bloodstream and provide an increased metabolism, energy and oxygen consumption and heat generation increases significantly. Moreover, the two hormones are involved in the brain and bone maturation during the growth phase. The balance is ensured by processes in the brain: When the hormone level drops, rain distributed by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to produce thyroid messengers to – until sufficient hormones are present. If there is a gain of function, this loop is disrupted and it comes to excessive production of both hormones. Possible causes in addition to immune-related disorders (often Graves’ disease), a so-called autonomy, in which the thyroid gland forms independently of the control in the brain uninhibited hormones.
Signs and diagnosis.
The previously mentioned increase in metabolism, with the associated side effects is the most important indication of the disease; so the body is constantly working at full speed. Palpitations, sweating, tremors, restlessness, and insomnia, as well as a sometimes very high blood pressure are accordingly classic symptoms. Due to the increased energy expenditure concerned often lose a lot of weight. Depending on the underlying cause, other symptoms, such as protruding eyeballs in Graves’ disease can be added. With suspected hyperthyroidism brings a blood test, which gives information about the concentration of both hormones, exactly. Furthermore, it is determined whether certain antibodies are present in favor of the existence of an autoimmune disease. An ultrasound or nuclear medicine scintigraphy may supplement the diagnosis.
Treatment of hyperthyroidism.
An overactive thyroid must be treated immediately, as the bodies – with the heart – can be permanently damaged by the steady increase of metabolism. By drug treatment hormone secretion is inhibited in the blood, other preparations reduce the formation of hormones in the thyroid gland itself. The nature of the drug depends on the cause and severity of the disease and the age of the patient. A radio-iodine therapy is used in unsuccessful medication or, in the case of autonomy being: Here is administered to radioactive iodine as a capsule or injected it so abnormal thyroid tissue is destroyed. In severe cases, the only remaining operation in which either parts or the entire thyroid removed. The resulting negative function must include medications can be compensated. Since the thyroid hormone-producing organ is as directly related to the autonomic nervous system, relaxation methods can improve well-being.