What is hyperthyroidism?

 

Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Another term for this overactive thyroid gland is thyrotoxicosis. With too much thyroid hormone, your body’s metabolism goes into overdrive and body processes speed up beyond normal.

 

The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune condition known as Graves' disease (diffuse toxic goiter). This tends to run in families and typically affects young women. Hyperthyroidism may also be caused when lumps, or nodules, in the thyroid produce too much thyroid hormone. This condition is known as nodular toxic goiter.7,8

References: 7. American Thyroid Association. Hyperthyroidism. Accessed from http://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/patients/brochures/Hyper_brochure.pdf on August 2016. 8. Bahn RS et al. Hyperthyroidism and Other Causes of Thyrotoxicosis: Management Guidelines of the American Thyroid Association and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Endoc Prac. 2011.

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