HYPERPARATHYROIDISM

Also Listed As: Thyroid, Overactive

Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland, located at the front of your neck, produces too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism has three forms that share several symptoms. Hyperthyroidism usually happens between the ages of 20 and 40. It often starts after times of extreme stress or during pregnancy.

Signs and Symptoms

What Causes It?

Researchers suspect that Graves' disease (one form of hyperthyroidism) stems from an antibody that mistakenly stimulates the thyroid to produce too much hormone. Toxic nodular goiter is caused by a noncancerous tumor in nodules that make up the thyroid gland. Secondary hyperthyroidism results when a gland called the pituitary overrides the thyroid's normal instructions, and orders it to make too much thyroid hormone.

What to Expect at Your Provider's Office

Your health care provider will ask you to extend your fingers to see if you have a telltale tremor. Your provider will also examine your thyroid gland while you swallow. You will have blood drawn and may need X rays.

Treatment Options

Drug Therapies

Your health care provider will most likely prescribe a single dose of liquid radioactive iodine, which calms down your thyroid gland. Alternatively, your provider may give you thyroid-depressive medication. You may also be prescribed beta-blockers. If drug treatment fails, you may need surgery to remove part of your thyroid.

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Alternative therapies may be effective at minimizing symptoms of mild thyroid dysfunction.

Nutrition

Foods that depress the thyroid include broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, spinach, turnips, soy, beans, and mustard greens. Avoid refined foods, dairy products, wheat, caffeine, and alcohol.

Herbs

Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 to 4 cups per day. For best results, these herbs should be used under the guidance of an experienced practitioner.

Diseases&Treatments

Disclaimer: This information is intended as a guide only.   This information is offered to you with the understanding that it not be interpreted as medical or professional advice.  All medical information needs to be carefully reviewed with your health care provider.

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