Hyperthyrodism or Hypothyrodism*

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Hyperthyrodism or Hypothyrodism*

Post  Hummingbird on Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:39 pm

I have Graves Disease, what about you?


Last edited by Hummingbird on Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:37 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Hyperthyrodism or Hypothyrodism*

Post  Hummingbird on Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:26 pm

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism can significantly accelerate your body's metabolism, causing sudden weight loss, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, and nervousness or irritability.

Several treatment options are available if you have hyperthyroidism. Doctors use anti-thyroid medications and radioactive iodine to slow the production of thyroid hormones. Sometimes, treatment of hyperthyroidism involves surgery to remove part of your thyroid gland. Although hyperthyroidism can be serious if you ignore it, most people respond well once hyperthyroidism is diagnosed and treated.

Hyperthyroidism can mimic other health problems, which may make it difficult for your doctor to diagnose. It can also cause a wide variety of signs and symptoms. Hyperthyroidism symptoms may include:

* Sudden weight loss, even when your appetite and food intake remain normal or even increase
* Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) — commonly more than 100 beats a minute — irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or pounding of your heart (palpitations)
* Increased appetite
* Nervousness, anxiety or anxiety attacks, irritability
* Tremor — usually a fine trembling in your hands and fingers
* Sweating
* Changes in menstrual patterns
* Increased sensitivity to heat
* Changes in bowel patterns, especially more frequent bowel movements
* An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), which may appear as a swelling at the base of your neck
* Fatigue, muscle weakness
* Difficulty sleeping

Older adults are more likely to have either no signs or symptoms or subtle ones, such as an increased heart rate, heat intolerance and a tendency to become tired during ordinary activities. Medications called beta blockers, which are used to treat high blood pressure and other conditions, can mask many of the signs of hyperthyroidism.

Graves' ophthalmopathy
Sometimes an uncommon problem called Graves' ophthalmopathy may affect your eyes. In this disorder, your eyeballs protrude beyond their normal protective orbits when tissues and muscles behind your eyes swell. This pushes the eyeballs forward so far that they actually bulge out of your orbits. This can cause the front surface of your eyeballs to become very dry. Signs and symptoms of Graves' ophthalmopathy include:

* Protruding eyeballs
* Red or swollen eyes
* Excessive tearing or discomfort in one or both eyes
* Light sensitivity, blurry or double vision, inflammation, or reduced eye movement
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Re: Hyperthyrodism or Hypothyrodism*

Post  Hummingbird on Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:27 pm

Graves' disease is the most common form of hyperthyroidism, occurring when your immune system mistakenly attacks your thyroid gland and causes it to overproduce the hormone thyroxine. This higher thyroxine level can greatly increase your body's metabolic rate, which may affect you in numerous ways, from your moods to your physical appearance.

Graves' disease is rarely life-threatening. Although it may develop at any age and in either men or women, Graves' disease is more common in women and usually begins after age 20.

There's no way to stop your immune system from attacking your thyroid gland, but treatments for Graves' disease can ease symptoms and decrease the production of thyroxine.

Graves' disease symptoms may include:

* Anxiety
* Irritability
* Difficulty sleeping
* Fatigue
* A rapid or irregular heartbeat
* A fine tremor of your hands or fingers
* An increase in perspiration
* Sensitivity to heat
* Weight loss, despite normal food intake
* Brittle hair
* Enlargement of your thyroid gland (goiter)
* Change in menstrual cycles
* Frequent bowel movements

Graves' ophthalmopathy
It's also fairly common for your eyes to exhibit mild signs of a condition known as Graves' ophthalmopathy. In Graves' ophthalmopathy, your eyeballs bulge out past their protective orbit (exophthalmos). This occurs as tissues and muscles behind your eyes swell and cause your eyeballs to move forward. Because your eyes may be pushed so far forward, the front surface of your eyes can become dry. Cigarette smokers with Graves' disease are five times more likely than nonsmokers to develop Graves' ophthalmopathy. This is possibly because smoking inhibits the absorption of anti-thyroid medication that is used to treat Graves' disease.

Graves' ophthalmopathy may cause these mild signs and symptoms:

* Excess tearing and sensation of grit or sand in either or both eyes
* Reddened or inflamed eyes
* Widening of the space between your eyelids
* Swelling of the lids and tissues around the eyes
* Light sensitivity

Less often, Graves' ophthalmopathy can produce these serious signs and symptoms:

* Ulcers on the cornea
* Double vision
* Limited eye movements
* Blurred or reduced vision

Graves' dermopathy
An uncommon sign of Graves' disease is reddening and swelling of the skin, often on your shins and on the top of your feet, called Graves' dermopathy.

When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you have signs and symptoms suggesting Graves' disease, particularly:

* An enlarged thyroid
* Protruding eyes
* Anxiety
* Intolerance to heat
* Tremor
* Weight loss

Seek emergency care if you are experiencing heart-related signs and symptoms, such as a rapid or irregular heartbeat.
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