The thyroid is an endocrine gland located in the neck that secretes hormones responsible for metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. These hormones, called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), affect the way we lose and gain weight as well as how warm we feel. During the first few years of life, an adequate amount of thyroid hormone is very important for brain development. When the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormones, it causes hyperthyroidism.
As mentioned above, hyperthyroidism is an overactivity of the thyroid gland. It is the most common cause of thyrotoxicosis.
Hyperthyroidism causes body functions to speed up. This may result in excessive sweating, nervousness, and rapid weight loss. There are a number of factors that stimulate hyperthyroidism. Here are some of the conditions that may cause this problem:
- Graves’ disease – this is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. It is generally the overactivity of the thyroid gland. In this case, the thyroid gland is schismatic, meaning; it has eventually lost the ability to respond to the normal control of the pituitary gland.
- Thyroid nodules or thyroid adenomas – these are benign tumors of the thyroid gland. It may be a functioning tumor resulting in excessive thyroid hormone production
- Inflammation of the thyroid or thyroiditis
- Excess consumption of thyroid hormones – this is especially common when an individual abuses their thyroid hormone medication in order to attain weight loss
- Getting too much iodine – this is the case where a person consumes iodine-rich foods such as seafood, dairy products, eggs, and sea salt or iodized salt
- Abnormal secretion of TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) – TSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain that tells the thyroid gland how much hormone to make.
Hyperthyroidism may be clinically silent. Meaning, a patient has the disease but experiences no symptoms. Although in most cases where signs and symptoms are present, they can be simple and complex at the same time. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism may include:
- Nervousness, fatigue, and mood swings
- Sensitivity to temperature causing individuals to feel warm in surroundings where other people are comfortably cool
- Hair loss
- Irregular heartbeat
- Weight loss despite no change in diet
- Frequent bowel movements
- Irritability, shaky hands, anxiety
- Feeling tired but having difficulty sleeping
- Muscle aches
- Shortness of breath
- Osteoporosis ( if the disease is left untreated for a long time)
- Thyroid eye disease – symptoms include dry eyes, watery eyes, red eyes, bulging eyes, double vision and difficulty closing the eyes
Disability Tax Credits for Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism affects a person physically, psychologically, and emotionally. A blood test measuring the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is typically the first test if your doctor suspects hyperthyroidism. It is then confirmed if your blood tests show low levels of TSH and elevated thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). It is up to your doctor if further tests should be done and how to approach the next step. HandyTax can help you apply for disability tax credits to help improve your financial situation under several categories, including walking, dressing, feeding, vision and mental functions. Call today to speak to a representative!