Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the body has too much thyroid hormone in the blood. Thyroid hormone is made by the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck. It produces the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which control metabolism. This affects:
The Thyroid Gland
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The most common form of hyperthyroidism is Graves disease. Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder. The body's own immune system produces antibodies that stimulate the thyroid gland to overproduce thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism can be the result of other conditions, such as:
Treatment of hyperthyroidism can lead to the opposite condition, hypothyroidism. This is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone. It is easier to treat hypothyroidism long-term than hyperthyroidism. Treatment of hypothyroidism involves taking a pill of thyroid hormone.
It is estimated that 20 million Americans have thyroid disorders.
What are the risk factors for hyperthyroidism?
What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?
How is hyperthyroidism diagnosed?
What are the treatments for hyperthyroidism?
Are there screening tests for hyperthyroidism?
How can I reduce my risk of hyperthyroidism?
What questions should I ask my doctor?
Where can I get more information about hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism (thyrotoxicosis). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine-and-metabolic-disorders/thyroid-disorders/hyperthyroidism. Updated May 2014. Accessed December 11, 2015.
Hyperthyroidism and thyrotoxicosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116479/Hyperthyroidism-and-thyrotoxicosis. Updated March 21, 2016. Accessed October 4, 2016.
Kasper DL, Harrison TR. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 16th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2005.
Primary hyperthyroidism. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/endocrine/primary-hyperparathyroidism/Pages/fact-sheet.aspx. Updated August 2012. Accessed December 11, 2015.
Thyroid disorders. Healthy Women website. Available at: http://www.healthywomen.org/condition/thyroid-disorders. Updated February 10, 2012. Accessed December 11, 2015.
Vaidya B, Pearce SH. Diagnosis and management of thyrotoxicosis. Brit Med J. 2014;349:g5128.
Last reviewed December 2015 by Kim A. Carmichael, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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