Valdosta Specialty Clinic
Rheumatology & Endocrinology located in Valdosta, GA
Up to 3% of Americans have hyperthyroidism today. Common hyperthyroidism symptoms like agitation, shaking hands, and difficulty sleeping warrant an evaluation from the thyroid disease experts at Valdosta Specialty Clinic. In their Valdosta, Georgia, office, the caring professionals can diagnose thyroid disease and then prescribe the proper treatment to manage your symptoms. Call the practice or schedule a consultation online today.
What is hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is a disease where your thyroid gland makes and secretes too much thyroid hormone. This extra hormone speeds up your metabolism too much and causes many uncomfortable symptoms.
Hyperthyroidism is the opposite of hypothyroidism, in which your thyroid gland doesn't make enough thyroid hormone.
What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?
Everyone may experience hyperthyroidism a little differently, but common issues include:
- Irritability or agitation
- Increased sweating
- Shaky hands or tremors
- Rapid heartbeat
- Heart pounding
- Restless sleep
- Muscle weakness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Hot flashes
- Brittle hair
Like hypothyroidism, people with hyperthyroidism can develop a goiter, a bigger-than-normal thyroid gland that protrudes from the neck.
What causes hyperthyroidism?
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease, an immune disorder that triggers thyroid over-activity. Other reasons might include overactive thyroid nodules (Plummer's disease) and thyroid inflammation (thyroiditis).
What does hyperthyroidism diagnosis involve?
Your endocrinologist at Valdosta Specialty Clinic performs a comprehensive exam and evaluates your medical history. They may suspect hyperthyroidism after discussing your symptoms with you, but to confirm your diagnosis and eliminate other conditions, you need lab tests.
Blood tests check your thyroid-stimulating hormone to see if it's functioning correctly. You may also need tests to check the levels of both individual thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) or your thyroid antibodies. In some instances, you may need a neck imaging test like ultrasound, as well.
How is hyperthyroidism treated?
Your hyperthyroidism treatment plan depends on multiple factors, including disease severity, your age, and your personal wishes.
Typically, you'll take some type of medication for hyperthyroidism. Options may include oral radioactive iodine to shrink your thyroid gland, anti-thyroid drugs to curb thyroid hormone overproduction, or beta-blockers to manage heart-related symptoms like a rapid heartbeat or palpitations.
In rare cases, some people may need thyroid gland removal if they can't take medication. A thyroidectomy removes most of your thyroid gland, so it's an aggressive permanent solution for hyperthyroidism. After surgery, you'll need to take levothyroxine long-term to prevent the opposite issue (hypothyroidism).
To learn how Valdosta Specialty Clinic experts can eliminate your hyperthyroidism symptoms, schedule a consultation by phone or book online today.
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