Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits in the neck just below your voice box.1 It is responsible for releasing thyroid hormone, which plays a major role in your body’s metabolic rate.2 Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid hormone becomes overactive and produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. This causes a fast metabolism, which can lead to serious complications.3 There are three forms of hyperthyroidism, but the most common is Grave’s disease.4 Hyperthyroidism should not be confused with hypothyroidism, which refers to an underactive thyroid and is commonly associated with iodine deficiencies.1
What Causes Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism has many causes and may differ depending on the type you have. In Grave’s disease patients, it’s believed that hyperthyroidism occurs when an antibody mistakenly stimulates the production of too much thyroid hormone.4 Grave’s disease has been linked with other autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.4
Secondary hyperthyroidism is a form of the condition that occurs when the pituitary gland, which is responsible for regulating hormones, sends instructions to the thyroid that causes it to produce too much hormone.4 Another form of hyperthyroidism, called toxic nodular goiter, happens when non-cancerous tumor forms in the nodules of the thyroid gland.4
Other hyperthyroidism causes can include:5
Because hyperthyroidism symptoms are vast and are similar to those of other health conditions, it can be difficult to diagnose.6 In some cases, symptoms may not appear at all or will be unnoticeable at first.1,6 The lack of hyperthyroidism symptoms is more common in older adults or patients taking beta blockers, which are medications used to treat high blood pressure.6
Depending on the cause of your hyperthyroidism, additional symptoms may occur. For instance, patients with Grave’s disease experience symptoms affecting the eyes. This can include eye irritation, double vision, increased tear production, or eyelids that don’t close properly.5
Hyperthyroidism treatments include medications, surgery, or nutritional supplements.4 Consult your doctor to determine the best course of treatment for you.
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Add 2 teaspoons of loose hyssop tea leaves to 1 cup of hot water. Let steep for 10 minutes then strain. Drink cold.
Lemon balm can help to regulate thyroid activity. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon balm to 1 cup of boiling water. Let steep for 5 minutes then strain. Drink 3 times daily.
Eat 1 cup of raw cabbage daily to help regulate thyroid activity.
Add 1 teaspoon of dried bugleweed tea leaves to 1 cup of boiling water. Let steep for 10 minutes then strain. Drink 3 times daily.