We’ve often heard of hypothyroidism, but what we don’t know is that its opposite, hyperthyroidism, is just as troublesome. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland)occurs when the body’s thyroid glands makes too much thyroid hormone, making the body’s metabolism accelerate and causing dire conditions, such as sweating, sudden loss of weight, nervousness and rapid heartbeat. Hyperthyroidism can be fatal if it’s not given the right attention, so here are a few pointers to remember to treat it properly.
Determining if a person has hyperthyroidism or not might require a physician’s proper diagnosis, but here are several symptoms to help determine if a person has this problem or not.
- Sudden increase in appetite
- Weakness and fatigue
- Heat intolerance
- Muscle cramps
- Unable to tolerate cold
- Weight loss
- Cold skin
- Trembling hands
- Irregular menstruation
Knowing The Causes
Usually, hyperthyroidism occurs as a result of another health condition. Here are several possible causes of this ailment.
- Graves’ disease – An autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid, causing it to enlarge and become overly active.
- Nodular thyroid disease
- Thyroiditis – Inflammation of the thyroid gland.
- Pituary gland or ovary – Sometimes, hormone-producing tumors of the ovary or pituary gland causes this ailment.
- Iodine-containing drugs – These causes iodine-induced hyperthyroidism.
Treating these possible causes can be the first step to curing hyperthyroidism. Here are also a few more options to get rid of the dilemma.
Treatment Through Radioactive Iodine
This is the most recommended treatment for hyperthyroidism. By using a radioactive iodine form, the thyroid cells are able to absorb it and be damaged or killed. The medication, called radioiodine is orally ingested, but does not require hospitalization, and usually only requires one dosage. It takes a month or two before the thyroid is killed, but the radioactivity medicine is removed from the body within a few days. The only side effect of this treatment is it may cause hypothyroidism.
Using Anti-Thyroid Drugs
This is ideal for people with sustained form of hyperthyroidism, such as for Graves’ disease. Its goal is to prevent the thyroid from creating hormones. Anti-thyroid drugs often come in two kinds: propylthiouracil (PTU) and methimazole. They affect the hormone-producing capabilities of the thyroid. After a few weeks of use, hyperthyroidism can be controlled.
Anti-thyroid drugs have a few disadvantages, though, such as:
- Hyperthyroidism can come back when the drugs are discontinued.
- A few uncommon side effects, such as fever, itching and rashes.
- Liver deficiency or inflammation can occur.
Gland Or Nodule Removal
If the hyperthyroidism is causing much discomfort for the person, surgical removal may be the best option, although it’s not used very often as the treatments above. The procedure does not take long hospitalization, but there are a few possible side effects from this. One example is that the structures near the thyroid gland (such as the nerve going to the voice box) can be affected.
Other Treatment Options
Here are a number of other treatment options for hyperthyroidism.
- Buplerum and doing quai (Hsiao Yao Wan) – This Chinese patent medicine helps regulate the endocrine system. 500 milligrams should be taken three times a day for two months. After the two months, stop for a month, then repeat.
- Vitamin B Complex 50 – It has many components needed for a normally functioning thyroid. Flaxseed and ribolfavin are needed for normal glandular functions. Vitamin B6 activates many relevant enzymes. Ester C is for anti-stress. Lecithin aids fat digestion and protects the cells. Thiamon provides energy production.
- Yoga and breathing techniques – Accompanied with the right, balanced diet, this is a good therapy for hyperthyroidism.
- Dandelion root – Regulates liver function and benefits the thyroid gland. Take one cup of tea twice a day for six weeks, or 500 milligrams.
- Other herbal treatments – There are herbal remedies that can solve the symptoms and side effects of hyperthyroidism. Lemon balm tea calms an overactive thyroid. Green tea has helpful antioxidant effects. Scutellaria treats and prevents viral infections, while Motherwort stops heart palpitations/ Bungleweed tablets lessens irritability, nervousness, fatigue and insomnia. (see Healing Herbs)
- Proper diet – Eat a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits.
What To Avoid:
- Don’t drink alcohol and smoke.
- Stimulates such as caffeine should also be avoided.
- Some hyperthyroidism cases are linked to allergies. Soy, wheat, dairy, corn and food additives should be avoided.
- Avoid processed foods and refined foods such as white pasta, white bread and sugar. Fatty foods should also be lessened.
Hyperthyroidism is an unpleasant ailment, but with these easy steps, you can effectively cure that overactive thyroid gland. Follow these treatment options and get rid of this dilemma immediately.
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