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Why do you get Low Thyroid (Overactive Thyroid), and is it reversable with or without medication?

By Anonymous October 27, 2011 - 12:19pm
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HERWriter Guide

HI Anon

Thanks for your post!

I am not sure if you mean hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, based on your question. Hypo means low/not enough and hyper means high/too much. You used them together in your title.

But since you said over-active thyroid, this means hyperthyroidism. Your thyroid is producing too many hormones and this can happen for a variety of reasons. Risk factors include:

■Sex: female (eight times more common in women)
■Age: between 30-40 years old
■Pregnancy: postpartum thyroiditis (hyperthyroidism followed by hypothyroidism)
■Family history of Graves' disease
■Certain viral infections

Depending on the cause, it can be treated and/or eliminated and all patients will be treated individually. Postpartum thyroiditis is often temporary but others, especially those with a family history, may have to take regular medication for long periods of time.

Treatment includes:
Antithyroid Drugs

Antithyroid drugs work best for Graves' disease. Examples include:
■ Carbimazole— Smoking can interfere with how your body uses this medication. *¹If you smoke, talk to your doctor about how to quit .

If the disease goes into remission, you may no longer need medication.

Radioactive Iodine

This is a common treatment in the US. Radioactive iodine is taken orally. It is then absorbed by the thyroid gland. Once there, it damages most of the thyroid cells. These cells can no longer produce thyroid hormones. Within days, the excess iodine passes out of the body in the urine or changes into a nonradioactive state. You may need to take a daily thyroid supplement.

Surgery is rarely used for hyperthyroidism. Exceptions include:
■Young children
■Pregnant women
■Individuals with a very large goiter that causes either swallowing or breathing problems

Most patients take antithyroid medication before surgery. After surgery, you may need to take a daily thyroid supplement.

You may need to take beta-blockers . These drugs relieve rapid heart rate and jitters. Examples include:

Eye Protection
If there are eye symptoms, your doctor may prescribe:
■Eye protection before sleep
■Artificial tears

You can read lots more information here: http://www.empowher.com/condition/hyperthyroidism

Thanks for writing!

October 28, 2011 - 5:43am
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