What is Hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is a thyroid disorder in which a person’s thyroid gland becomes overactive and produces more hormones than normal. The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland present in the lower neck and is responsible for producing the hormones- triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones play an important role in controlling the body’s metabolism. In Hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland becomes enlarged. This increases the body’s metabolism and results in sudden weight loss, fast or irregular heartbeat, and anxiety.


 Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Increased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Trembling hands
  • Excessive sweating
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Sensitivity towards heat
  • Swelling in the lower neck
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Excessive hair fall


Hyperthyroidism is caused when the hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) are produced in excess quantity. This condition may arise due to the following:

  • Graves' disease: Graves' disease is a condition in which the thyroid gland is stimulated by the antibodies produced by the immune system. This results in the production of excessive T-4 which results in hyperthyroidism.
  • Thyroid nodules: Thyroid nodules are lump- like structures which are formed inside the thyroid gland and cause its enlargement.  This condition might increase the production of T4 hormone and lead to hyperthyroidism.
  • Inflamed thyroid glandIn some cases, the thyroid gland becomes inflamed for unknown reasons. This can cause the accumulated thyroid hormone in the gland to leak into the patient’s bloodstream. This condition is known as thyroiditis.


Diseases like hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease could be running in the family lines of a person and can get passed on to the next generation. Women are at a higher risk of having hyperthyroidism as compared to men. 


Hyperthyroidism cannot be completely prevented. However, the risk of developing hyperthyroidism can be reduced by adopting an active lifestyle which includes maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly and quitting smoking and drinking.

How is it diagnosed?

The doctor checks the presence of hyperthyroidism by examining the medical history of the patient. The doctor may also opt for a physical exam, blood test or a thyroid scan to confirm the presence ...

How is it treated?

Hyperthyroidism can be treated using several procedures. The doctor decides the treatment depending on the patient’s age, physical condition, the main cause of hyperthyroidism and the extent of the disease.


  • Radioactive iodine therapy

    Radioactive iodine is a substance that is orally introduced into the patient’s body. It gets absorbed by the thyroid gland and causes the gland to shrink. It helps in controlling the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

  • Anti- thyroid medication

    Anti- thyroid medicines help in controlling the symptoms of hyperthyroidism as they prevent the thyroid gland from producing excess amounts of hormones. Treatment through medications may or may not provide a permanent solution for hyperthyroidism.

  • Beta blockers

    Beta blockers help in lowering the patient’s high blood pressure which in turn helps in controlling the thyroid levels. However, these drugs may lead to side effects like fatigue, headache, upset stomach, constipation and diarrhoea.

  • Thyroidectomy

    Thyroidectomy is a surgical procedure in which the doctor removes a diseased portion or the whole of the thyroid gland. However, this procedure may damage the patient’s vocal cords and the parathyroid glands.

When do I contact the doctor?

One should consult a doctor as soon as one starts noticing any signs or symptoms of hypothyroidism in a person. If one experiences sudden weight loss, a rapid heartbeat, swelling in the lower neck, one should seek medical help at the earliest. It's important to describe all the symptoms thoroughly to the doctor because the symptoms of hyperthyroidism may be associated with a number of other diseases.

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How does Medanta provide care?

Medanta ensures expert care for its patients who are diagnosed with hyperthyroidism at the Institute of Endocrinology & Diabetology.

The Endocrinology & Diabetology division offers expert care for various metabolic, pituitary..

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