When an individual has a thyroid disease, she has a condition in which the thyroid gland does not work properly. MedlinePlus noted that in the United States, millions of people have a thyroid disease, with women being diagnosed more often than men.
It may be a disease in which the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormones or too little. Some types of thyroid diseases are cancerous, while others are benign and may not cause symptoms.
Hyperthyroidism is a thyroid disease in which the patient’s thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine. The overproduction of these thyroid hormones can cause symptoms such as an increased appetite, tremors, rapid heartbeat and an increased sensitivity to heat.
More than 70 percent of hyperthyroidism cases are caused by Graves’ disease, noted the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other causes of hyperthyroidism include thyroiditis and hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules.
Treatments for hyperthyroidism include radioactive iodine, surgery, anti-thyroid medicine and beta blockers.
In the United States, about 5 percent of individuals have hypothyroidism, with women being diagnosed more often than men, according to the National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service.
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