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Hyperthyroidism

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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). 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 physicians and patients often use these words interchangeably, we will take some liberty by using the term "hyperthyroidism" throughout this article.

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


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Hyperthyroidism - Symptoms Question: For hyperthyroidism, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?
Hyperthyroidism - Treatments Question: What was your treatment for hyperthyroidism?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/hyperthyroidism/article.htm

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