Hyperthyroidism

  • Medical Author:
    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

Quick GuideHyperthyroidism Pictures Slideshow: Keep Your Thyroid in Check

Hyperthyroidism Pictures Slideshow: Keep Your Thyroid in Check

What are thyroid hormones?

Thyroid hormones stimulate the metabolism of cells. They are produced by the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in the lower part of the neck, below the Adam's apple. The gland wraps around the windpipe (trachea) and has a shape that is similar to a butterfly formed by two wings (lobes) and attached by a middle part (isthmus).

The thyroid gland removes iodine from the blood (which comes mostly from a diet of foods such as seafood, bread, and salt) and uses it to produce thyroid hormones. The two most important thyroid hormones are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) representing 99.9% and 0.1% of thyroid hormones respectively. The hormone with the most biological activity (for example, the greatest effect on the body) is actually T3. Once released from the thyroid gland into the blood, a large amount of T4 is converted to T3 - the more active hormone that affects the metabolism of cells.

Thyroid Gland illustration - Hyperthyroidism
Thyroid Gland illustration - Hyperthyroidism
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/30/2015
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