The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. It produces thyroid hormone, which controls our bodies’ overall metabolism.
In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland is producing too much hormone. This excess of thyroid hormone causes the metabolism to be overactive. Patients with hyperthyroidism can experience a number of symptoms, including a racing heart, tremors, feeling anxious, weight loss, feeling hot all the time and difficulty sleeping. A simple blood test can diagnose hyperthyroidism.
In some patients, hyperthyroidism is caused by the whole gland being overactive (Graves’ disease), while in others a nodule or nodules may be causing the problem. Treatment for hyperthyroidism includes medications, radioactive iodine or thyroid surgery. The best therapy depends on the cause of the hyperthyroidism and the preferences of the patient.
In hyperthyroidism, too much thyroid hormone causes the body’s metabolism to become overactive.
© 2016 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery