Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland provides too much thyroid hormone. The condition is often referred to as overactive thyroid.

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Alternative Names

Thyrotoxicosis; Overactive thyroid; Graves disease - hyperthyroidism; Thyroiditis - hyperthyroidism; toxic goiter - hyperthyroidism; Thyroid nodules - hyperthyroidism; Thyroid hormone - hyperthyroidism


The thyroid gland is vital organ that the endocrine system. The is situated at the front of the neck just above where her collarbones meet. The gland renders the hormones that manage the way every cabinet in the body offers energy. This process is dubbed metabolism.


Many diseases and also conditions can reason hyperthyroidism, including:

Graves an illness (most common cause of hyperthyroidism)Inflammation (thyroiditis) the the thyroid due to viral infections, some medicines, or after pregnant (common)Taking too much thyroid hormone (common)Noncancerous growths of the thyroid gland or pituitary gland (rare)Some tumors that the testes or ovaries (rare)Getting clinical imaging exam with comparison dye that has actually iodine (rare, and only if over there is a difficulty with the thyroid)Eating too lot of foods that save iodine (very rare, and only if over there is a trouble with the thyroid)


Common symptom include:

AnxietyDifficulty concentratingFatigueFrequent bowel movementsGoiter (visibly enlarged thyroid gland) or thyroid nodulesHair lossHand tremorHeat intoleranceIncreased appetiteIncreased sweatingIrregular menstrual durations in womenNail alters (thickness or flaking)NervousnessPounding or racing heart beat (palpitations)RestlessnessSleep problemsWeight ns (or weight gain, in part cases)

Other symptoms that can happen with this disease:

Breast advance in menClammy skinDiarrheaFeeling faint once you raise your handsHigh blood pressureItchy or excited eyesItchy skinNausea and also vomitingProtruding eye (exophthalmos)Skin blushing or flushingSkin decision on the shinsWeakness that the hips and also shoulders

Exams and also Tests

The health care provider will do a physics exam. The test may uncover the following:

High systolic blood push (the very first number in a blood pressure reading)Increased love rateEnlarged thyroid glandShaking the the handsSwelling or inflammation approximately the eyesVery strong reflexesSkin, hair, and also nail changes

Blood test are also ordered to measure her thyroid hormone TSH, T3, and also T4.

You may also have blood tests come check:

Cholesterol levelsGlucoseSpecialized thyroid tests choose Thyroid receptor antibody (TRAb) or Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulin (TSI)

Imaging exam of the thyroid may also be needed, including:

Radioactive iodine uptake and scanThyroid ultrasound (rarely)


Treatment depends on the cause and also severity the symptoms. Hyperthyroidism is typically treated with one or an ext of the following:

Antithyroid medications (propylthiouracil or methimazole) which minimize or block the results of the extra thyroid hormone Radioactive iodine to damage the thyroid gland and stop the excess production of hormonesSurgery to eliminate the thyroid

If your thyroid is removed with surgical procedure or damaged with radiation iodine, you must take thyroid hormone instead of pills for the remainder of your life.

Medicines referred to as beta-blockers might be prescribed come treat symptoms together as fast heart rate, tremor, sweating, and anxiety until the hyperthyroidism have the right to be controlled.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Hyperthyroidism is treatable. Some reasons may go away without treatment.

Hyperthyroidism resulted in by Graves disease usually it s okay worse end time. It has plenty of complications, some of which are severe and impact quality the life.

Possible Complications

Thyroid crisis (storm) is a sudden worsening that hyperthyroidism symptoms the may happen with infection or stress. Fever, reduced alertness, and abdominal muscle pain might occur. Civilization need come be treated in the hospital.

Other complications of hyperthyroidism include:

Heart problems such as rapid heart rate, abnormal love rhythm, and also heart failureOsteoporosis Eye an illness (double vision, ulcers the the cornea, vision loss)

Surgery-related complications, including:

Scarring that the neckHoarseness as result of nerve damages to the voice boxLow calcium level due to damage to the parathyroid glands (located close to the thyroid gland)Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)

Tobacco use might make some complications of hyperthyroidism worse.

When to call a medical Professional

Call her provider if you have actually symptoms that hyperthyroidism. Walk to an emergency room or call 911 or the local emergency number if friend have:

Change in consciousnessDizzinessRapid, rarely often, rarely heartbeat

Call your provider if you space being treated because that hyperthyroidism and also you build symptoms the underactive thyroid, including:

DepressionMental and also physical sluggishnessWeight gain


Hollenberg A, Wiersinga WM. Hyperthyroid disorders. In: Melmed S, Auchus, RJ, Goldfine AB, Koenig RJ, Rosen CJ , eds. Williams Textbook that Endocrinology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 12.

Ross DS, Burch HB, Cooper DS, et al. 2016 American Thyroid association guidelines because that diagnosis and management the hyperthyroidism and also other causes of thyrotoxicosis. Thyroid. 2016;26(10):1343-1421. PMID: 27521067

Wang TS, Sosa JA. Administration of hyperthyroidism. In: Cameron AM, Cameron JL, eds. Present Surgical Therapy. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:767-774. 

Weiss RE, Refetoff S. Thyroid function testing. In: Jameson JL, De Groot LJ, de Kretser DM, et al, eds. Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 78.

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