What is hyperthyroidism?
We talk about hyperthyroidism when the thyroid gland produces too much hormone: thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3). Contrary to popular belief, it is not a swelling of the thyroid. Hyperthyroidism causes nervousness, tremors and weight loss. This disease mainly affects women between 20 and 50 years old. Hyperthyroidism is 5 to 10 times more common in women than in men. It is much less common than hypothyroidism.
There are two types of hyperthyroidism:
Diffuse hyperthyroidism: The whole gland is enlarged, the hypersecretion is general. This is usually Basedow’s disease.
-Nodular hyperthyroidism: In this case the hyper secretory areas are localized.
Causes of hyperthyroidism
There are several causes that cause hyperthyroidism. It is :
-The disease of Graves: This is the main cause of hyperthyroidism in the young woman (75 to 80% of cases). It is an autoimmune condition affecting many more women than men. It occurs on a genetically predisposed terrain. The immune system attacks the body. It is characterized by the abnormal production of antibodies that excessively stimulate the thyroid to produce more hormones. Typhoid cells produce too much T3 and T4 hormones. It may be associated with other autoimmune diseases in the propositus or in the family.
–Thyroid nodules: These so-called toxic nodules are located in the thyroid gland and they secrete thyroid hormones (cysts, adenomas, cancers). It is an inflammation of the thyroid caused by infection, autoimmune disease or childbirth. It can lead to an excessive synthesis of T3 and T4.
To these causes, it is necessary to add certain drugs which have as side effects of stimulating the thyroid. These are: amiodarone (a drug rich in iodine used to treat heart rhythm disorders), immunomodulatory treatments (hepatitis C and cancer).
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism
The symptoms of hyperthyroidism are not systematic. It is quite common that hyperthyroidism does not show any noticeable symptoms. We therefore speak of subclinical hyperthyroidism. However, in some cases, hyperthyroidism causes symptoms. They vary from one patient to another. In the elderly, the symptoms are usually less visible.
It is :
– Weight loss while the patient is eating much more than before
-The person is always hot and sweats a lot because the body heat regulation is very disturbed
-Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
-Timely thin and fast hands
– Moist skin, brittle hair.
Diagnosis of hyperthyroidism
To make a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism, your doctor will have to take a blood test to measure the thyroid hormones T3 and T4, as well as the TSH. In the case of hyperthyroidism, T3 / T4 levels are very high and TSH levels are abnormally low (below 0.1 mU / L), even if hyperthyroidism does not occur. If there is no symptom, the diagnosis is likely to be positive, then, for the intensity of the hyperthyroidism, the hormone T4 is measured, the higher the rate, the greater the hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism and pregnancy
Thyroid disorders affect about 4% of pregnant women, however the majority of these conditions are detected and treated properly without causing serious problems for the woman or her baby. It is important to treat hyperthyroidism well during pregnancy because it can have negative consequences on the course of pregnancy.
Pregnant women with hyperthyroidism are more likely to have a miscarriage or give birth prematurely. As for the baby, he runs the risk of low birth weight or heart failure. If the newborn shows signs of hyperthyroidism, be fearless. They will disappear spontaneously in a few weeks. In case of pregnancy, women often use a drug: propylthiouracil. The latter sometimes has side effects such as a reduction in the number of white blood cells. If you are pregnant and have hyperthyroidism, please let us know. We will consider this for your natural treatment.
However, very rarely, pregnant women with hyperthyroidism are affected by a serious illness: the thyroid storm. In this case, the symptoms of hyperthyroidism worsen and cause the mother to be at risk of heart failure.