Other thyroid illness

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Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (Hashi’s) is the most common cause of
hypothyroidism. It is autoimmune in nature in that the body attacks its
own thyroid gland. Early on, when there is destruction of the thyroid,
the release of thyroid hormone can temporarily cause a hyper state.
When enough destruction has occurred and the thyroid gland can
make only a small amount of hormone, the result is hypothyroidism.

Thyroglobulin and/or thyroid peroxidase antibodies are usually present
in blood testing among those suffering from Hashi's. Although doctors
generally only make a diagnosis of Hashi’s when these antibodies are
above range, many in the forward-thinking community recognize that
any antibodies indicates Hashi’s. If antibodies are low, it usually means
the thyroid is not currently under attack.

Thyroid antibody testing listed here

There are a number of conditions causing an overactive or hyper
thyroid. If blood testing results in FT4 near the top of or above its range
-- and higher in its range than is FT3 -- unless it is due to high doses of
T4-containing thyroid medication, it may point to an overactive thyroid
or Graves' Disease.

Graves' Disease is an autoimmune condition in which antibodies signal
the thyroid gland to make too much T4. Typically there is elevation of
thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin. Levels of 130 or higher are usually
considered evidence of Grave’s Disease, but any antibodies may
indicate a problem.

With hyperactive thyroid, thyroid stimulating hormone is usually very
low but can appear normal or even elevated. Anti thyroglobulin
antibodies and/or thyroid peroxidase antibodies and anti-nuclear
antibody can also be elevated in Graves’ disease. Graves is frequently
accompanied by goiter (enlarged thyroid). It is more common in women
than men and most often occurs in people during their 30s or 40s.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism may include nervousness, irritability,
weakness, fatigue, excessive sweating, excessive bowel movements,
high heart rate, palpitations, weight loss, itchy skin, shakiness and

Hyperthyroidism is frequently treated with beta blockers, to reduce
symptoms, and other drugs such as methimazole and propylthiouracil
(PTU) to interfere with the thyroid's ability to produce hormones. In mild
conditions, it is possible that exogenous T3-only medication will
suppress the thyroid activity and resolve the hyperthyroid condition.

Radioactive iodine is often used to treat hyperthyroidism or Graves'.  It
is administered in capsule form on a one-time basis and directly
radiates and destroys thyroid tissues. The majority of patients
undergoing treatment with radioactive iodine eventually become
hypothyroid. Radioactive iodine is the preferred initial therapy for the
hyperthyroidism or Graves' disease in North America while antithyroid
drugs are used first in most of the rest of the world.

Many doctors are anxious to remove a hyperactive thyroid with surgery
or destroy it with radioactive iodine. Forward-thinking healthcare
professionals recognize this should be only a last resort. However,
when hyperthyroidism is due to a hot nodule in an accessible area of
only one thyroid lobe, surgery creates fewer long-term issues.

Hyperthyroid testing listed here

Subacute thyroiditis
Subacute thyroiditis can temporarily cause a hyperthyroid state. The
thyroid gland becomes inflamed and swollen, causing excess thyroid
hormone to be released (thyroid dump). It is thought to be caused by a
virus, sometimes following an upper respiratory infection. It may be
treated with anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen. If the
heart rate is excessively high, a beta blocker may be given to slow the
heart rate. The hyper condition will frequently be followed by a hypo
state, until the thyroid inflammation improves and the thyroid begins
producing hormone again. Subacute thyroiditis generally resolves itself
spontaneously within a few months.

Toxic multinodular goiter
This is a condition in which the thyroid gland contains multiple lumps or
nodules that are overactive and produce excess thyroid hormones.
They are sometimes referred to as "hot" nodules.

Thyroid storm
Thyroid storm is a severe, life-threatening condition caused by an
extreme excess of thyroid hormone. It can be caused by
over-replacement of thyroid hormones or discontinuing medications
taken to treat hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of thyroid storm can include
fever (potentially as high as 106 degrees F), racing pulse, nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heart beat, confusion, and weakness.
Thyroid storm may lead to heart failure and requires emergency
medical treatment.