Thyrotoxicosis is a metabolic imbalance that results from thyroid hormone overproduction or thyroid hormone over-release from the gland. The most common form of thyrotoxicosis is Graves' disease, which increases thyroxine production, enlarges the thyroid gland (goiter), and causes multiple system changes.
Incidence of Graves' disease is highest between ages 30 and 40, especially in people with family histories of thyroid abnormalities; only 5% of patients with thyrotoxicosis are younger than age 15
With treatment, most patients can lead normal lives. However, thyroid storm - an acute, severe exacerbation of thyrotoxicosis - is a medical emergency that may lead to life-threatening cardiac, hepatic, or renal consequences.
Thyrotoxicosis may result from genetic and immunologic factors.
Signs and symptoms
The thyroid gland, which is in the front of the neck, controls the rate of at which the body's cells work (the metabolic rate). In thyrotoxicosis, the rate of metabolism is increased, and this results in most of the symptoms:
The diagnosis of thyrotoxicosis usually is straightforward and depends on a careful clinical history and physical examination, a high index of suspicion, and routine hormone determinations. The following tests confirm the disorder:
Treatment varies depending on the cause of the condition and the severity of symptoms. Hyperthyroidism is usually treated with antithyroid medications, radioactive iodine (which destroys the thyroid and thus stops the excess production of hormones), or surgery to remove the thyroid.
If the thyroid must be removed with radiation or surgery, replacement thyroid hormones must be taken for the rest of the person's life.
Beta-blockers like propranolol are used to treat some of the symptoms including rapid heart rate, sweating, and anxiety until the hyperthyroidism
Another treatment that is sometimes used is the injection of radioactive iodine ( 131I, a longer lasting isotope than is used for scanning) which is concentrated in the thyroid gland and results in damage to and destruction of some of the cells of the thyroid. can be controlled.
There are no general prevention measures to prevent hyperthyroidism.
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