Site Map

Hyperthyroidism

Thyrotoxicosis; Overactive thyroid; Graves disease - hyperthyroidism; Thyroiditis - hyperthyroidism; Toxic goiter - hyperthyroidism; Thyroid nodules - hyperthyroidism; Thyroid hormone - hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. The condition is often called overactive thyroid.

Images

Endocrine glands
Goiter
Brain-thyroid link
Thyroid gland

I Would Like to Learn About:

Causes

The thyroid gland is an important organ of the endocrine system. It is located at the front of the neck just above where your collarbones meet. The gland makes the hormones that control the way every cell in the body uses energy. This process is called metabolism.

Many diseases and conditions can cause hyperthyroidism, including:

Symptoms

Common symptoms include:

Other symptoms that can occur with this disease:

Exams and Tests

The health care provider will do a physical exam. The exam may find the following:

Blood tests are also ordered to measure your thyroid hormones TSH, T3, and T4.

You may also have blood tests to check:

Imaging tests of the thyroid may also be needed, including:

Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause and severity of symptoms. Hyperthyroidism is usually treated with one or more of the following:

If your thyroid is removed with surgery or destroyed with radioactive iodine, you must take thyroid hormone replacement pills for the rest of your life.

Medicines called beta-blockers may be prescribed to treat symptoms such as fast heart rate, tremor, sweating, and anxiety until the hyperthyroidism can be controlled.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Hyperthyroidism is treatable. Some causes may go away without treatment.

Hyperthyroidism caused by Graves disease usually gets worse over time. It has many complications, some of which are severe and affect quality of life.

Possible Complications

Thyroid crisis (storm) is a sudden worsening of hyperthyroidism symptoms that may occur with infection or stress. Fever, decreased alertness, and abdominal pain may occur. People need to be treated in the hospital.

Other complications of hyperthyroidism include:

Surgery-related complications, including:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if you have symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Go to an emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if you have:

Call your provider if you are being treated for hyperthyroidism and you develop symptoms of underactive thyroid, including:

Related Information

Metabolism
Endocrine glands
Testes
Silent thyroiditis
Factitious hyperthyroidism
Hypothyroidism
Graves disease
Pulse - bounding
Atrial fibrillation or flutter
Fever
Thyroid gland removal - discharge

References

Davies TF, Laurberg P, Bahn RS. Hyperthyroid disorders. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 12.

Ferri FF. Hyperthyroidism. In: Ferri FF, ed. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2019. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:736-737.

Grant CS. Hyperthyroidism. In: Cameron JL, Cameron AM, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:776-782.

Ross DS, Burch HB, Cooper DS, et al. 2016 American Thyroid Association guidelines for diagnosis and management of hyperthyroidism and other causes of thyrotoxicosis. Thyroid. 2016;26(10):1343-1421. PMID: 27521067 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ 27521067.

Weiss RE, Refetoff S. Thyroid function testing. In: Jameson JL, De Groot LJ, de Kretser DM, et al, eds. Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 78.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 6/14/2018  

Reviewed By: Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2019 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.