ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What You Need to Know About Hyperthyroidism?

Updated on August 2, 2016

If you feel tired all the time but still can’t sleep and feel drained by nervous energy, it could be because your thyroid is over active.

What is the thyroid? The thyroid is a gland in the neck, which produces thyroxine, a hormone that regulates how fast or slow the cells in the body work.

A small gland in the brain - the pituitary - sends a stimulating hormone (called TSH) to the thyroid. When there is enough thyroxine circulating the pituitary reduces its TSH output and when thyroxine levels drop then it increases the TSH.

Causes of hyperthyroidism.

· Hyperthyroidism is most commonly caused by a toxic goitre, which is often called Graves Disease. The cause of Graves is unknown, but it is an autoimmune problem which means that the body stops recognising its own organs and starts ‘attacking’ them so that they don’t work correctly so this type of hyperthyroidism may occur in people with other autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.

Other causes include:

  • Subacute thyroiditis which is rare and thought to be caused by a virus and is an acute inflammation of the gland. It often occurs after a viral infection like laryngitis, mumps or flu and it is self limiting, passing through stages of excess production, hyposecretion and then back to normal. 10% of patients may develop hypothyroidism as a result of the mechanisms not returning to normal
  • If you take thyroxine for an underactive thyroid and take too much, you could get the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Your doctor should check your blood levels of thyroxine regularly (about once a year).influenza
  • A TSH-producing tumour, which is rare, producing the stimulating hormone from the brain’s pituitary gland.

What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

Symptoms vary and can be a bit vague. In older people they may become apparent when the patient sees the doctor about heart problems like angina or palpitations.

Other symptoms include

  • fatigue,
  • being unable to sleep,
  • feeling too warm and
  • sweating a lot,
  • weight loss +/- increased appetite,
  • being irritable,
  • lack of concentration,
  • diarrhoea,
  • palpitations or fast heart rate,
  • tremor,
  • very light or absent menstrual periods
  • eye complaints.

Diagnosis of thyroid disease is by a blood test and by the doctor listening to your symptom history.

What is the treatment for hyperthyroidism?

The doctor will probably refer you to an endocrinologist (hormone expert) for treatment of your thyroid disease as it’s often complicated and you will need life-long follow up. Treatment for hyperthyroidism needs to be undertaken fairly quickly after diagnosis as hyperthyroidism can put a strain on the heart.

  • The options for treatment are medical intervention involving anti-thyroid medications for about 18 months. These block the secretion of the thyroxine until you have the right amount circulating. The dose can either be titrated against your own circulating thyroxine or you can take tablet thyroxine to give what doctors call a ‘block and replace’ regimen. There is a danger of relapse after stopping the treatment.
  • The second option for treatment is radioactive iodine therapy with a single dose of 131 iodine taken as a liquid ‘drink’ to permanently stop thyroid function. Anti-thyroid drugs may be needed before treatment to get the disease under control and after to prevent the stored hormone being toxic when it’s released after treatment. In the long term you may need to take thyroxine tablets.
  • Surgery is often needed in large goitres or where other options are ruled out. The surgery will remove all or part of the thyroid. Complications include bleeding, hypoparathyroidism (the little glands next to the thyroid are the parathyroid glands and their hormone regulates calcium) or hoarseness due to damage to the vocal cords.
  • Other drugs to treat the effects of hyperthyroidism include beta-blockers until the thyroid is well controlled.

If you think you may have an underactive thyroid – hypothyroidism – then click here.

Underactive or overactive thyroid?

Have I got an underactive or overactive thyroid?
Have I got an underactive or overactive thyroid?


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)