Hypothyroidism is a huge medical problem that is under diagnosed and that is why I spend the last several blogs talking about it. There is another side of thyroid disorders called hyperthyroidism. We need to discuss this problem as well. In Thyrotoxicosis or hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland overproduces active thyroid hormone. Too much thyroid hormone can cause a person feel tired or fatigue, nervous or anxious. It can cause the patient to have speeding up of the heart or heart palpitations. Patients report having several bowel movements per day or so many that it interrupts their daily activities or have itchy or sweaty skin. Some people find their hair thinning or falling out or they lose weight suddenly and in an unhealthy way. Oddly some patient may not have any symptoms at all.
The most common form of hyperthyroidism is caused by Graves disease. Graves disease is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland it responds by overproducing the thyroid hormone. In Graves disease the patients in addition to the symptoms noted above will usually also exhibit a goiter, or enlargement of the thyroid gland in the neck, protruding eyes or exophthalmos, and swelling in the lower legs or pretibial myedema.
Again symptoms or blood tests especially TSH will be used to diagnose the problem. This time the TSH will show levels lower than normal, essentially the values are close to zero. There are several medical interventions that include medications, surgical removal or radiation to kill off the over active cells.
I recommend trying naturopathic treatment plans before looking at surgery or radiation because both of those solutions require removal of part or all of the gland which is irreversible. My treatment plans for autoimmune thyroid disease are similar whether it is hyperthyroidism or hyperthyroidism. The focus of treatment is to treat the autoimmune condition so the immune system will not attach the thyroid gland causing the imbalance. I always think about avoiding goitrogen’s foods that block iodine utilization in the thyroid gland. Examples would be raw turnips, cabbage, mustard, soybeans, and peanuts.