What is Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism refers to an overactive thyroid, in which the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormones (T3 & T4).
When the thyroid gland is overactive, it overstimulates metabolism and aggravates the effect of the sympathetic nervous system, causing the body’s processes to speed up.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
-Nervousness or anxiety, irritability.
-Heart palpitations, hand tremors.
-Excessive sweating & heat intolerance, in which
-The skin is continuously flushed, warm, soft, & moist,
-However, elderly patients may report dry skin with itching.
-Tachycardia (fast heartbeat), Atrial fibrillation, and elevated systolic BP.
-Hyperactivity, insomnia, increased metabolic rate, increased frequency of bowel
movements, and weight loss despite increased appetite.
-Osteoporosis & fracture, fine, brittle hair, with hair loss, muscle aches & weakness,
fatigue, light or infrequent menstrual cycles & problems with fertility.
-A goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) may also develop.
The course of the disease may be mild or may progress continuously if untreated, leading to:
and eventually heart failure.
-rare, severe hyperthyroidism
-severe increase in metabolism
-precipitated by a major stressor, inadequate treatment, or
-prescribed therapy stopped
Signs & symptoms of thyroid storm:
-increased tachycardia or onset of dysrhythmias
-worsening tremors & restlessness
-worsening mental status – delirious or psychotic state or coma
Patients managed in critical care unit –
lower metabolic rate
manage cardiovascular status & hyperthermia
Hyperthyroidism causes an overall increase in metabolism, so all body processes speed up & are evidenced by the signs & symptoms we’ve discussed today.