Also known as: overactive thyroid.

What is hyperthyroidism?

The thyroid gland produces hormones that are critical to the body’s metabolism, among other bodily functions. When the gland produces too much of the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine (T4 and T3), the result is hyperthyroidism.

What causes hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism more often is secondary to a dysregulation of the immune system. This condition is known as Graves’ disease. It can also be secondary to a thyroid nodule or exogenous intake of thyroid hormones.

What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

Possible symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping problems
and several other symptoms.

What are hyperthyroidism treatment options?

Hyperthyroidism due to Graves’ disease is treated with a medication named methimazole. If hyperthyroidism persists after a few years or treatment, radioactive iodine can be administered, or a surgery known as thyroidectomy can be performed, which involves removing most of the thyroid gland.

Reviewed by: Alejandro Diaz, MD

This page was last updated on: August 21, 2020 10:08 AM

Learn more about

Cholesterol Screening

A cholesterol screening is a blood test that measures your levels of different types of cholesterol. These include total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglycerides. Learn more