Hyperthyroidism: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Hyperthyroidism?

  • Thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland which rests at the base of the neck above the collarbone. Its function is to control body’s metabolism by releasing two harmones THYROXINE (T4) and TRIIDOTHYRONINE (T3).             
  • If your thyroid is too active, it makes more thyroid hormones than your body needs. That condition is called hyperthyroidism. 
  • Women are more likely than men to develop thyroid disorders
Thyroid overview

Recovery Time

Recovery from thyroid related illnesses does take time. Some patients will recover relatively quickly and will only need occasional blood tests to keep check of thyroid hormone levels. For others, their treatment may be tedious and complicated, and may require surgery. It could take up to a year or more to stabilize thyroid function. This will depend upon the severity, and type, of condition.


Diagnosis is done based on the medical and family history of the patient and the type of symptoms present. Physical examination of the neck. Some of the tests can be suggested like
  • Blood tests (Thyroid Stimulating Harmone Test)
  • Radioactive iodine uptake test
  • Thyroid scan
  • Free thyroxine (FT4) or free thyroxine index test
  • Total triiodothyronine (T3) test

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  What is hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which there is excess secretion of thyroid hormones by thyroid gland. The cause of hypothyroidism is multifactorial and the exact cause is determined by a series of tests such as thyroid function test, ultrasound of thyroid gland, FNAC, RAI uptake studies etc. This condition may or may not be associated with the enlargement of gland depending on the cause.

Q2.  How do I get hyperthyroidism?
The cause of hyperthyroidism is multifactorial. It could be due to excessive stimulation by pituitary or hypopothalamus. Or due to overactive nodule in the thyroid gland. Transient hyperthyroidism is seen when there is inflammation.

Q3.  What is the treatment for hyperthyroidism?
Mild hyperthyroidism is treated with antithyroid drugs. In sever forms the thyroid gland is surgically removed or it is destroyed using Radioactive iodine.

Q4.  How long does it take to cure?
Once thyroid gland is removed, it is permanent. You have to supplement thyroid hormone with levothyroxin for the rest of your life. The dosage is titrated according to the Tsh levels.

Q5.  How do I prevent hyperthyroidism?
There are no medically proven preventive measures for hyperthyroidism.

Q6.  Are there any complications of hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism causes weight loss, palpitations, intolerance to heat, tremors of outstretched hands, excessive sweating in the palms. In severe cases it causes exophthalmos.

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