Why Choose Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Hyperthyroidism Treatment?
The highly skilled endocrinologists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital will carefully take into account all the factors necessary for a proper examination in the process of establishing a diagnosis for people who suffer from a thyroid disorder.
Exceptional as healthcare providers, supportive as empathic human beings, our endocrinologists will make sure to satisfy your needs and expectations.
The thyroid gland, which can be found in the front lower part of the neck, is responsible for the way our body’s cells use the energy processed from food.
The hormone produced by the thyroid gland goes into the bloodstream and affects almost every part of the body (from the brain and the heart, to the muscles of the body and even the skin).
Hyperthyroidism is a disorder of the thyroid gland. When a person suffers from hyperthyroidism, it means that the thyroid gland produces too much of the T4 hormone. As a result, the body’s metabolism process works faster than necessary.
The healthcare provider can decide on treatment after collecting all the information needed for a specific case of hyperthyroidism.
It will be taken into account:
There are more ways in which this disorder can be treated.
Medicine like Methimazole can help reduce the quantity of hormones produced by the thyroid gland. There are other medicines that will work in this way and reduce the symptoms of the disorder.
A common medicine used for treatment is radioactive iodine (pills or liquid). This treatment works by attacking the cells of the thyroid gland and shrinking them. This will lead to a lower level of hormone production. In some cases, the patient can develop hypothyroidism from decreasing the gland’s activity too much, but radioactive iodine is generally considered safe and used to treat more than 70% of hyperthyroidism cases.
If a patient with hyperthyroidism is experiencing palpitations and a rapid heart rate, beta-blockers might be the best medicine. Beta-blockers help to alleviate the symptoms by blocking the effects of the thyroid hormone on the body. Depending on the patient, beta-blockers can induce side effects such as dizziness, digestive problems, or headaches.
Another solution for hyperthyroidism is removing the thyroid gland (or a part of it) by surgery. This procedure is called thyroidectomy and it might be recommended and a treatment option.
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
The way this disorder behaves depends on the individual as well, but the most common symptoms experienced due to the increased amount of thyroid secreted hormone are high blood pressure, a rapid heart rate, and shaky hands.
Because the metabolic rate is higher than normal, one person can experience unintentional weight loss, low heat tolerance, abundant sweating, and increased bowel movement. In women, hyperthyroidism can cause the menstrual cycle to happen irregularly.
Symptoms that can affect your moods and your mental life can include:
Other possible symptoms can include:
Because these symptoms can be an indicator of other health problems, seeing a doctor for a correct diagnosis is important.
Diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism
For a clear diagnosis, your healthcare provider will need access to your complete health history. A physical examination is also needed. Other tests that can be performed are:
- blood tests – in order to measure the thyroid hormone level in the blood
- thyroid ultrasound – which allows the healthcare specialist to see any possible nodules on the thyroid gland
- thyroid scan – it helps to create an image of the thyroid gland using a radioactive substance
To further assess the diagnosis, the doctor can do a cholesterol test, or a triglyceride test since a high metabolic rate or a low level of triglycerides can be a sign of a hyperactive thyroid.
Risk Factors for Hyperthyroidism
Factors such as age, gender, genetics, previous medical conditions, and even ethnic background can contribute to the likelihood of developing hyperthyroidism.
Women’s chances of developing this disorder are higher. Older people are more exposed to this type of disorder than younger individuals are. Your family’s and your own thyroid problems history is also relevant to calculate the risks, as well as consuming too much iodine.
Causes for Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is most commonly caused by an autoimmune disease called Graves’ disease. This means that the body’s immune system affects the balance of thyroid hormones by increasing the secretion of the gland. Graves’ disease can be passed down through generations.
Toxic nodular goiter is a medical condition that can be responsible for the hyperactivity of the thyroid gland. In this case, lumps that develop on the gland amplify the secretion level. They are usually not benign. There is no scientific explanation yet of why the nodules appear on the gland.
Thyroiditis is the irritation of the thyroid gland and it can cause an overproduction of hormones, but it is temporary. Thyroiditis is usually subacute, which means the thyroid is painful and enlarged and it’s most likely due to a bacteria or a virus.
Depending on the causes of hyperthyroidism, various alternative treatments can be used to alleviate symptoms and to support the treatment prescribed by the doctors. This doesn’t mean that one should not consult with their healthcare providers before trying alternative medicine.
Stress-reducing techniques like meditation, aromatherapy, and acupuncture can help people who suffer from an overactive thyroid. Therapies using herbal supplements (lemon balm, motherwort, bugleweed ) are also recommended.
Complete prevention may not be possible in some cases since the root of the disorder may be a genetic cause. One thing you should definitely do is to go see a doctor for examinations if you know your family members have problems with the thyroid gland. If you are not aware of such medical problems in your family, you can do a few things to prevent, or at least decrease the risks of hyperthyroidism.
Avoid eating too many iodine-rich foods. Also, there are some medicines that contain a lot of iodine in their composition, so speak to your healthcare provider to see if these can be replaced with a different medicine if needed.
Restraining from smoking and having balanced nutrition plays an important role in keeping the risk factors at the lowest level possible.