What is hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism refers to a condition in which an overactive thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormones. Increased level of thyroid hormones can speed up metabolism, resulting in sudden weight loss, irregular heartbeat, moodiness, over sweating or nervousness. Patients with hyperthyroidism needs proper medical treatment. Otherwise it may lead to serious heart problems.


Now let’s have a look at the causes of hyperthyroidism.

  • Graves' disease ( an autoimmune disorder that leads to hyperthyroidism)
  • Toxic adenoma (refers to an autonomously functioning thyroid nodule that results in hyperthyroidism)
  • Plummer's disease (a form of toxic goiter that causes hyperthyroidism)
  • Thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid)


Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include- an enlarged thyroid gland, sudden weight loss, anxiety, excessive sweating, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), hair loss, muscle pain, weakness, tremor (shakiness in hands and fingers), abnormal bowl movements, insomnia (sleeplessness), menstrual irregularities, fatigue, hyperactivity or irritability.


If any of the above mentioned symptoms bother you, consult a doctor! He would suggest a thyroid function test- a simple blood test with which you can check whether your thyroid function is normal or not. Low TSH (Thyroid-stimulating hormone) level and high thyroid hormone level indicates hyperthyroidism.

Thyroid scan is also used for diagnosis.

Radioactive iodine uptake test: This test will help the doctor identify the cause of hyperthyroidism. An oral intake of a small dose of radioactive iodine is needed for the test. Normally, thyroid gland makes use of iodine to make thyroid hormones. The test measures the amount of radioactive iodine absorbed. A high absorption level indicates that your thyroid gland is producing excessive amount of thyroid hormones. The reason for this can either be Graves' disease or hyper-functioning nodules. Low absorption level is an indicator of thyroiditis. Based on the test results, the doctor can suggest appropriate treatment.


Based on the cause and severity of hyperthyroidism, there are several options available to treat it.

  • Anti-thyroid medications
  • Radioactive iodine treatment
  • Severe case of hyperthyroidism needs a surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid gland.


There is no way to prevent hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroid patients should avoid foods with high iodine content. Pregnant women with hyperthyroidism should take special care of their heath.

Are you sick of smoking? Your risk of hyperthyroidism is high. So quit smoking!

Treatment cost:

For those who do not have a health insurance coverage, hyperthyroid treatment costs around $10-$150 per month.