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Causes and symptoms
The best screening test for hyperthyroidism is the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test (or assay). Other laboratory tests that may be performed include assessments of free triiodothyronine and free thyroxine, the triiodothyronine resin uptake test, and radioimmunoassay for triiodothyronine. Selected cases, such as hyperthyroidism during pregnancy, may warrant evaluation of thyroid antibodies. A radioactive iodine uptake test or thyroid scan may also be useful evaluations.
The dosage depends on the size of the gland and its sensitivity to radiation. The radioactive iodine is administered orally, usually in one small dose. Some individuals receiving these small doses may require two or even three doses. Radioactive iodine takes several months to achieve the desired effect, and symptoms usually improve after about four weeks. Antithyroid medication and beta-blockers may be necessary to control the symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism during this initial time period. All patients receiving radioactive iodine must be observed for signs of thyroid crisis resulting from radiation-induced thyroiditis.
Iodine preparations often are given routinely for 10 to 14 days prior to surgery to reduce the vascularity of the thyroid. Another important use of antithyroid drugs is in treatment of thyroid crisis. Iodine preparations such as a saturated solution of potasssium iodide have only a temporary effect.
Because of the increased irritability, it is helpful to keep environmental stimuli at a minimum. Patients should be approached in a calm and unhurried manner and their wishes regarding visitors during hospitalization respected. To assure as much rest and sleep as possible, meals and treatments are scheduled so that the patient has periods of uninterrupted rest. When at home or work, the patient is encouraged to take time for rest. Physical and mental rest are important because stress can act as a stimulus to and cause increased activity of the thyroid.
Information about tests and prescribed treatments should be provided to the patient and family. Caloric intake is increased to a daily intake of 3000 calories, and may require supplemental feeding to maintain desired body weight. Consultation with a dietitian can help improve the patient's understanding of and compliance with the prescribed diet. Patients and their families need to understand the nature of the illness, its effect on emotions, and the importance of complying with the regimen of care. They should report regularly to professional caregivers for support and guidance.
See also: thyrotoxicosis.
hyperthyroidismThyroid excess Endocrinology A state characterized by excess thyroid activity, due to ↑ secretion of thyroid hormones and ↓ response of hypothalamic–long and pituitary–short feedback loops Etiology Graves' disease, iatrogenic, toxic nodular goiter, thyroiditis, neonatal hyperthyroidism, exogenous iodide, factitious illness, malignancy struma ovarii Clinical ↑ O2 consumption, ↑ basal metabolic rate, exophthalmos, nervousness, asthenia, weight loss Lab ↑ T3 and/or T4 Management Antithyroid drugs–methimazole, carbimazole, propylthiouracil, radioiodine, surgery. See Apathetic hyperthyroiditis, Factitious hyperthyroiditis, Subclinical hyperthyroiditis, Thyroid storm. Cf Hypothyroidism.
hyperthyroidismOveractivity of the thyroid gland. See THYROTOXICOSIS.
hyperthyroidisma medical condition in which overproduction of the thyroid hormone causes nervousness, sensitivity to heat and insomnia.
Patient discussion about hyperthyroidism
Q. I had my blood test as I was feeling dizzy and my heart rate was raised & I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism I had my blood test as I was feeling dizzy and my heart rate was raised & I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. It had just started when I was taking herbs for depression and anxiety. I am not taking herbs now and still feeling dizzy. Has anyone had any problem with Chinese herbs?