Hyperthyroidism

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Author: Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C)
    Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C)

    Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C) is an Attending Physician with the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Associate Director of Clinical Research, Recruitment and Phenotyping with the Center for Androgen Related Disorders, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

View Hyperthyroidism Slideshow

10 Thyroid Disorder Symptoms and Signs

Thyroid disease is a common problem because of over- or under function of the thyroid gland. Ten common signs and symptoms of thyroid disease include:

  1. Feeling bloated
  2. Weight gain
  3. Mental fogginess
  4. Aches and pains
  5. Nervousness...

Quick GuideHyperthyroidism Symptoms and Treatment

Hyperthyroidism Symptoms and Treatment

Hyperthyroidism definition and facts

  • Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which there is an excessive amount of thyroid hormones.
  • Thyroid hormones regulate the metabolism of the cells.
  • Normally, the rate of thyroid hormone production is controlled by the brain from the pituitary gland, which is in turn regulated by the hypthalamus.
  • There are many possible causes of hyperthyroidism.
  • Graves' disease, the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, can be associated with eye disease (Graves' opthalmopathy).
  • Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include
  • Treatments for hyperthyroidism include antithyroid medications, radioactive ablation, and surgery.

What is hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which an overactive thyroid gland is producing an excessive amount of thyroid hormones that circulate in the blood. ("Hyper" means "over" in Greek). Thyroid hormones include thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), representing 99.9% and 0.1% of thyroid hormones, respectively. T3 is actually the most active thyroid hormone. Much of the T4 is converted to T3 in the bloodstream.

The thyroid itself is regulated by the pituitary gland in the brain. The pituitary is further regulated by another gland in the brain, the hypothalamus.

The hypothalamus releases a hormone called thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH), which sends a signal to the pituitary gland to release thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). In turn, TSH sends a signal to the thyroid to release thyroid hormones. With overactivity of any of these three glands, an excessive amount of thyroid hormones can be produced, thereby resulting in hyperthyroidism

Thyrotoxicosis is a toxic condition that is caused by an excess of thyroid hormones from any cause. Thyrotoxicosis can be caused by an excessive intake of thyroid hormone or by overproduction of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland. Because both health-care professionals and patients often use these words interchangeably, we will take some liberty by using the term "hyperthyroidism" throughout this article.

Thyroid Gland illustration - Hyperthyroidism
Thyroid Gland illustration - Hyperthyroidism

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/1/2016

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