Doctor insights on:
Can Hyperthyroidism Cause Death
Yes: This used to be fairly common. And perhaps almost as bad, untreated hypothyroidism will slowly erode your life so that you cannot do any of the things you enjoy. Your mind will slow and perhaps go insane, your heart can't keep up, you'll get fat, grotesque-looking and weak and be severely constipated. And eventually you get myxedema coma and die. Treating it is extremely easy if done on time. ...Read more
Mild hyperthyroidism: Not everyone w/ hyperthyroidism loses weight. Given high enough thyroid hormone levels, everyone will lose weight, but most cases are mild-moderate. Too much thyroid can lead to increased appetite and less impulse control and increased calories eaten. If the increased calories eaten is more than increased calories burned by a revved-up metabolism, a person gains weight! ...Read more
Many, many things: Most overweight people think/hope they have an under active thyroid gland, so doc can give them thyroid replacement and they'll lose the weight (i remember one case in 40 years practice). Many people think they have overactive thyroid when pulse is fast, palpitations in chest, sweat a lot, diarrhea frequently, lose weight or hair, ...Most don't, but check. I do thyroid screening tests routinely. ...Read more
Usually not sudden: Most of the time, hyperthyroidism is caused by your immune system making an antibody which stimulates your gland to overproduce thyroid hormone. Most patients have symptoms for months before they are diagnosed but occasionally the onset seems sudden. Severe stress is one thing hat can trigger the onset of the problem quickly. In any case you need to see an endocrinologist. ...Read more
Very rare: The pituitary produces a hormone called TSH which tell the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. If you have a tumor in the pituitary that produces too much tsh, this will lead to pituitary induced hyperthyroidism. This is very rare, apprx 1 in a million. If your initial labs suspect you have pituitary hyperthyroidism, i suggest you repeat the test as it's probably a lab error. ...Read more
Hyperthyroidism: Graves disease is an autoimmune disease most common in young women. Other common forms are toxic nodular goiter, subacute thyroiditis, post-partum thyroiditis, and of course overreplacement with thyroid hormone. There are other, less common forms of hyperthyroidism, some of which can be subtle. Best to have this evaluated by an endocrinologist or an internist who is familiar with this. ...Read more
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