High thyroid levels, elevated thyroid and thyroid over activity are just a few of the names given to hyperthyroidism. It has many causes and can usually be treated by a change in lifestyle.
However a change in lifestyle is much easier for some than it is for others. It would mean a complete change in diet, no more junk food, and plenty of exercise.
High thyroid levels usually result from one of two causes. High TSH levels (thyroid stimulating hormone) or an issue the the thyroid itself.
One of the most common causes of hyperthyroidism is graves disease. The disease occurs when the immune system produces some abnormal antibodies that simulate the TSH and tricks the thyroid gland into producing too much of the thyroid hormone. One of the most common yet unusual symptoms of graves disease is inflammation of the eyes.
High thyroid hormone levels also occur when abnormal nodules in the thyroid called Adenomas start working on their own accord. Meaning they are no longer controlled by the TSH and are permanently producing the thyroid hormone. This condition is called Toxic Nodular Goiter.
Thyroiditis is a lesser version of hyperthyroidism because it usually only lasts a few weeks. With thyroiditis, inflammation of the thyroid leads to all or most of the stored thyroid hormone to released at once for a short period of time. This in itself isn’t dangerous however, long term inflammation can lead to hyperthyroidism.
Another cause high thyroid levels in the body is too much thyroid hormone being introduced from external sources, such as taking medications like amiodrome which contains large quantities of iodine.
Secondary hyperthyroidism occurs in rarer cases when the pituitary gland, the gland in the brain that controls the amount of TSH produced, becomes de-sensitised to the amount of thyroid hormone in the body. It can’t tell when the levels are too high so doesn’t switch off the TSH.
Finally secondary hyperthyroidism can also occur with a tumour of the pituitary gland produces high TSH levels that stimulate the thyroid gland to over produce.
Left untreated hyperthyroidism can lead to a more serious condition called a thyroid storm. It is caused by extreme thyroid over activity and is very, very serious. It can be triggered by many things such as trauma, infection, surgery, pregnancy, failing to take medication among others. Symptoms include increased heart rate, shaking, sweating, loss of consciousness and confusion.
Follow the links below to discover how you can avoid your condition ever reaching the level of a thyroid storm. This is a life threatening condition so prevention, as always, is better than the cure.