Enable/Disable "how ask works"
FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism (also called thyrotoxicosis) is an over-active thyroid gland. It leads to an oversupply of several hormones that control metabolism in the body.
What causes hyperthyroidism?
There are many causes of hyperthyroidism. Some of the more common ones include autoimmune reactions, abnormal growths of the thyroid, inflammation of the thyroid, and taking in too much iodine.
Who gets hyperthyroidism?
Anyone can get hyperthyroidism, but it is about four to five times more common in women than in men.
How is hyperthyroidism diagnosed?
Hyperthyroidism is diagnosed with a physical examination and blood tests to check hormone and antibody levels. In some cases, a thyroid scan using radioactive iodine may be necessary to determine the type of hyperthyroidism.
How is hyperthyroidism treated?
Hyperthyroidism can be treated with anti-thyroid medications, taking radioactive iodine to destroy thyroid cells and surgery to remove the thyroid.
Can hyperthyroidism be prevented?
Most forms of hyperthyroidism cannot be prevented. Avoiding excess iodine intake can prevent iodine-related forms of hyperthyroidism.
Is hyperthyroidism serious?
Left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to serious health conditions including heart damage; it can, in severe cases, be life-threatening.
What increases the chances of developing hyperthyroidism?
Women are more likely to develop hyperthyroidism. Pregnancy can trigger the condition in some women. Taking in excessive iodine (via medications, food or medical tests) can also cause some forms of hyperthyroidism.
About this article
Author: Kellie Heywood
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Votes: 499 (Click smiley face below left to rate)