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
Fast heart rate and palpitations
High blood pressure
Swelling at the base of the neck
Moist skin and increased perspiration
Shakiness and tremor
Nervousness and confusion
Increased appetite accompanied by weight loss
Swollen, reddened, and bulging eyes
Constant stare (infrequent blinking, lid lag)
Sensitivity of eyes to light
Occasionally, raised, thickened skin over the shins, back of feet,
back, hands, or even face
In crisis: fever, very rapid pulse, agitation, and possibly
Changes in menstrual periods
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.
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
Complementary and Alternative Therapies
Alternative therapies may be effective at
minimizing symptoms of mild thyroid dysfunction.
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.
Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and help your immune
system function properly.
Bromelain (250 to 500 mg three times per day between meals)
L-Tyrosine - promotes the healthy functioning of the thyroid,
adrenal and pituitary glands.
Iodine - is vital for good thyroid function
Vitamin C (250 to 500 mg twice a day) supports immune function and
Calcium (1,000 mg per day) and magnesium (200 to 600 mg per day)
are cofactors for many metabolic processes.
Vitamin E (400 IU twice a day) can help protect the heart.
Saw palmetto - strengthens
the thyroid, which controls overall gland function.
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
Bugleweed (Lycopus virginica) and lemon balm (Melissa
officinalis) help to normalize the overactive thyroid. Motherwort
(Leonurus cardiaca) may relieve heart palpitations and
passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) reduces anxiety. Combine
two parts of bugleweed with one part each of lemon balm, motherwort,
and passionflower and take in tincture form, 30 to 60 drops three to
four times per day.
Quercetin (250 to 500 mg three times per day) is an
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) makes the effects of bromelain
stronger and should be taken between meals, 500 mg three times per
Milk thistle (Silibum marianum) helps the liver provide
proper binding proteins, 300 to 600 mg three times a day.
Hawthorn berry (Crataegus laevigata) helps protect the
heart. Take ¼ tsp. of the solid extract, or 1,000 mg of the herb,
three times a day.
Lemon balm inhibits the binding of thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH)
Immune-suppressing herbs such as Stephania root (Stephania
tetranda) and Indian sarsaprilla (Hemidesmus indicus) help
break the circle of cellular damage.
Anti-inflammatory herbs such as licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
and Chinese foxglove (Rehmania glutinosa) support the adrenals
Disclaimer: This information is intended as a guide only. This information isoffered to you with the
understanding that it not be interpreted as medical or professional advice.
medical information needs to be carefully reviewed with your health care