Friday, April 08, 2011

When the thyroid gland becomes overactive, it can cause several very serious health problems. Dr. Edward Hill discusses these in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

The thyroid gland controls the bodys metabolism. When the thyroid gland is overactive, it can cause significant health problems.

Common symptoms for hyperthyroidism include:

- Heart palpitations, or the feeling of the heart racing and skipping beats

- Intolerance to heat

- Nervousness and difficulty sleeping

- Increased frequency of bowel movements

- Tremors

- Weight loss and

- Hair loss

The most common cause of an overactive thyroid gland is Graves disease, where the persons own immune system stimulates the thyroid gland.

Several treatment options are available for hyperthyroidism. Many people can take medications that block the actions of the excessive thyroid hormone on the bodys tissues. These include beta-blockers and drugs such as propylthiouracil.

Many patients can take a radioactive iodine treatment in a pill form. The radioactive iodine is taken up in the thyroid gland, causing it to decrease the production of thyroid hormone.

Rare patients will need to have all or part of the thyroid gland removed.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.