The thyroid makes two important hormones – Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). Hyperthyroidism occurs when the body makes too much of one or both of these hormones. Hyperthyroidism is fairly common, occurring in nearly 1% of the U.S. population, and affecting nearly 300,000 people annually. Women are eight times more likely to develop hyperthyroidism than men. While hyperthyroidism typically affects patients over the age of 60, it also affects a smaller percentage of people between 40 to 60 years of age, and can even affect children. One of the biggest challenges for patients can be getting the right diagnosis or even finding the right doctor. Patients with hyperthyroidism can appear to have symptoms typically seen with anxiety and depression. As many as 12% of hyperthyroid patients report symptoms almost identical to an anxiety or depressive disorder, including heart palpitations, chest pain, nervousness, hand tremors, weight fluctuation, and sleeplessness.
A number of serious health conditions can be caused by or associated with excess thyroid hormones, including heart problems, eye problems, brittle bones, and red, swollen skin. Hyperthyroidism also puts a patient at risk of a thyrotoxic crisis, which can be life-threatening. Hyperthyroidism can be caused by a number of conditions, including thyroiditis, Grave’s disease, Plummer’s disease, thyroid nodules, benign thyroid tumors, and even some medications. Our thyroid experts at Holtorf Medical Group are trained to recognize and treat the most complex thyroid disorders through cutting-edge testing and integrative treatment solutions.