From a general physiological point of view, several human body activities and systems are controlled by hormones. These biochemical substances may therefore alter the normal body functioning or restore its normalcy depending on the existing conditions of the body.
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It is important that correct measures of particular hormones are maintained to avoid occurrence of health complications associated with hormonal imbalance in the body. This essay synthesizes Hyperthyroidism, a disease caused by overproduction of thyroid hormone in the human body. Among other sections, the essay covers the definition of the disease, causes, symptoms, prevalence and treatment.
Hyperthyroidism is a hormonal disease, which occurs when there is excess production of thyroid hormone in the human body system. Thyroid hormone is produced by thyroid, a gland found in the front of a person’s neck. This hormone is very essential to body operations as it regulates metabolic rate, a process through which food is converted into energy (Carlton, 2011).
As a result, it affects cholesterol, heart, bones and muscles. This implies that any deviation from the normal production of thyroid hormone can result into a wide range of complications, most of which are fatal. For instance high thyroid production may lead to excessive sweating, faster heartbeat, nervousness and being moody among other changes. In some cases, the disease may be diagnosed accidently due to lack of distinct symptoms.
As mentioned in the above segment, Hyperthyroidism can manifest itself in countless ways. It is worth noting that the disease can mimic signs and symptoms associated with other health complications, making it difficult to be diagnosed and treated. Weight loss is a common symptom, where patients drop their weight regardless of their normal appetite.
In cases where the heartbeat changes patients may experience tachycardia, irregular heartbeat or palpitations. Changes in bowl movement and physical enlargement of thyroid are also common symptoms. In women, Hyperthyroidism may result into alteration of menstrual cycles (Rowland, Schumann & Ewigman, 2009).
It has to be underscored that Hyperthyroidism affects both men and women, since human bodies produce thyroid hormone. However, research indicates that there is variation of prevalence among men and women and the presence of some diseases further act as predisposing factors.
For instance, people with leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DRw3 are at higher risk of developing the disease together with those having HLA-Bw35 (Iglesias et al., 2010). The presence of iodine in a particular region may determine the likelihood of the disease occurring since the element acts as an immune stimulator.
Apart from these predisposing factors, Hyperthyroidism is caused by Grave’s disease. One of the complications of this disease is that the body’s defense systems attacks and destroys thyroid gland (Rowland, Schumann & Ewigman, 2009). The body usually responds to this condition by producing excess thyroid hormone, triggering the onset of the above mentioned complications.
Hyperthyroidism can be treated in several ways, depending on a number of factors like age of the patient, severity of the condition and physical manifestation of the disease. These approaches may include drug therapies, nutritional supplements and herbs among others. Radioactive iodine is commonly used to cause shrinking of thyroid gland and subsiding of symptoms (Carlton, 2011).
Additionally, anti-thyroid medications like Tapazole reduce manifested symptoms by preventing production of thyroid hormone.
On the other hand, beta blockers are used to lower the heartbeat even though they do not affect the production of thyroid hormone. In rare cases, surgery may be recommended. Nutritional approach includes the elimination of certain foods from the diet as medically recommended and introduction of others in specified quantities.
Carlton, S. (2011). Peeling Sluggish: Bloated? Always Cold? Good Housekeeping, 252 (8), 59-64.
Iglesias et al. (2010). Severe hyperthyroidism: aetiology, clinical features and treatment outcome. Clinical Endocrinology, 72 (4), 551-557.
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Rowland, K., Schumann, S., & Ewigman, B. (2009). What caused this case of asymptomatic hyperthyroidism? Journal of Family Practice, 58 (4), 203-206.