Treatment for an overactive thyroid ranges from medication to surgery.
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 have estimated that 2 percent of women and .2 percent of men have hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism may cause the following symptoms:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
- Feeling hot and sweating
- Weakness and fatigue
- Weight loss
Causes of hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism can be caused by a number of problems, including:
- Excess iodine: Certain medications contain a large amount of iodine, which is absorbed by the thyroid
- Graves’ disease: An immune system disorder characterized by inflamed or bulging eyes
- Postpartum thyroiditis: After having a child, women can experience temporary hyperthyroidism, which usually subsides after a few months
- Sub-acute thyroiditis: A virus that causes the thyroid to become inflamed
- Toxic adenoma: A disorder that may develop when a thyroid nodule, which is a growth in the thyroid, forms
- Toxic multinodular goiter: A group of nodules that can form within the thyroid gland
Treatment for hyperthyroidism
We offer several treatments for hyperthyroidism, depending on how severe it is. These treatments include:
- Antithyroid medication: These medications reduce the hormone output of an overactive thyroid.
- Radioactive iodine: This treatment shrinks and destroys an enlarged thyroid gland by making it absorb radiation embedded in iodine. Patients will need thyroid hormone replacement therapy following radioactive iodine treatment.
- Thyroidectomy: We offer several advanced surgery techniques for thyroid surgery, including minimally invasive and robot-assisted options.