Hyperthyroidism

The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate a number of bodily activities, including metabolism, or how your body uses energy. When the thyroid makes too much of these hormones, it results in hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid gland.

Hyperthyroidism is much more common among women. Studies estimate that women are 10 times more likely than men to experience hyperthyroidism.

The condition can result from an overactive nodule, multiple nodules or Graves’ disease. The thyroid specialists at Henry Ford Health diagnose and treat hyperthyroidism in hundreds of patients every year.

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hyperthyroidism
The radioactive iodine uptake test, or RAIU test, is a type of scan used in the diagnosis of thyroid problems, particularly hyperthyroidism.

What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

People with an overactive thyroid gland produce too much thyroid hormone. Having too much thyroid hormone can result in symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fast, irregular or pounding heartbeat
  • Feeling hot and sweating
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Weight loss

How do we diagnose hyperthyroidism?

Blood tests that measure levels of thyroid hormones can confirm if you have hyperthyroidism.

How do we treat hyperthyroidism?

Left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to numerous other health issues, including osteoporosis and heart problems.

In many cases, medications or oral radiation treatment are often enough to help regulate your thyroid. These treatments include:

  • Antithyroid medication: These medications reduce hormone production to regulate the thyroid.
  • Radioactive iodine: This oral treatment destroys overactive thyroid cells in the gland. As the thyroid absorbs the radiation embedded in iodine, those cells die and the overactive part of the gland shrinks.

If medications fail to control your condition, we may recommend a thyroidectomy. During this surgery, we remove all or part of the thyroid gland. After surgery, you may need replacement hormones to restore balance to your metabolism and other functions controlled by thyroid hormones.

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If you need treatment for a thyroid disorder, we’re here to help. Request a surgical consultation with a thyroid specialist. 

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