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What is Hyperthyroidism?



Hyperthyroidism: what is it?

 Hyperthyroidism is a medical condition affecting the thyroid gland, which is a hormone-producing gland located inside the neck, just below the Adamís apple. The thyroid gland produces to related thyroid hormones containing iodine, thyroxine and tri-iodothyronine, which are responsible for the regulation of the bodyís metabolism (the rate at which the body produces energy from nutrients), as well as for controlling tissue oxygen consumption and body heat production.

 The production of hormones from the thyroid gland is regulated by another hormone-producing gland, the pituitary gland, which is located under the brain. More specifically, the pituitary gland produces a hormone, called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) which stimulates the thyroid gland to become more active and to increase the production of thyroid hormones. However, when the blood levels of thyroid hormones are sufficiently high, the pituitary gland stops secreting TSH, so that the thyroid gland returns to its normal activity.

 The delicate balance between the secretion of TSH by the pituitary gland and thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland is profoundly affected in patients with hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland is overactive and produces amounts of hormones much greater than normal.

The different causes for hyperthyroidism.

The most common is Graveís disease, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system produces an antibody with TSH-like activity. In other words, this antibody mimics the action of pituitary TSH, by stimulating the thyroid gland to produce and release (in an uncontrolled manner) thyroid hormones. Other possible causes for hyperthyroidism include thyroid or pituitary tumors, the inflammation of the thyroid gland (called thyroiditis), excessive iodine intake and overuse of thyroid hormone medication.

 Because thyroid hormones act on all the body tissues, hyperthyroidism symptoms involve many body systems and functions and can include: weight loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, intolerance to heat, vision problems, hand tremors and irritability.

 Treatment of hyperthyroidism depends on the cause and severity of the condition. Possible treatment options include anti-thyroid medications and/or beta-blockers, radio-iodine therapy and thyroid surgery. In any case the primary goal of treatment is to restore thyroid hormone levels to normal and prevent possible complications such as heart failure and osteoporosis. Therapy with anti-thyroid medications is often the initial treatment, but it has to be continued for long time (2 or more years) and often does not produce permanent results. On the contrary, both the treatment* with radioactive iodine and thyroid surgery produce permanent results, although they often lead to the opposite thyroid condition (hypothyroidism), which is considered an acceptable outcome anyway, since hypothyroidism is a less serious condition and can be easily treated.

You may protect yourself and your relatives from hyperthyroidism before the issue occurs with an appropriate international health insurance plan, to cover the cost for the treatment of the condition and its possible complications.

If you would like to protect yourself or your family from unexpected medical conditions that may appear you can ask us for a free quotation; we will help you to choose the most appropriate International Healthcare plan.

 International Health insurance plans is an global Health Insurance broker. We have built excellent relationship with top International Health insurance providers. We offer free advice to choose your personalized Medical insurance over a wide range of International Healthcare plans. You may also contact us. Our quotation is totally free.

*Always seek professional medical advise from a qualified doctor before undergoing any treatment.

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