Tampa General Hospital’s Parathyroid & Thyroid Institute offers comprehensive evaluation and treatment for thyroid disorders like hyperthyroidism. Also known as an overactive thyroid, hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland at the base of the neck produces too much thyroid hormone. Tampa General Hospital is recognized as One of the Nation's Best Hospitals for Ear, Nose & Throat by U.S. News & World Report 2023-24.
What Causes Hyperthyroidism?
There are several conditions that are associated with hyperthyroidism, including:
- Graves’ disease – The most common cause of hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that typically affects young and middle-aged women.
- Thyroiditis – This refers to thyroid inflammation or irritation, which can temporarily cause excess thyroid hormone production.
- Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodule – A thyroid nodule that produces hormones (often referred to as a hyperfunctioning or toxic nodule) can lead to hyperthyroidism.
Other factors can also cause hyperthyroidism, including:
- Consuming too much iodine, a mineral found in table salt, certain supplements and foods like fish, seaweed, milk and cheese
- Taking a high dosage of thyroid hormone medication to treat an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Having a noncancerous (benign) pituitary gland tumor
What Are the Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism symptoms can range from subtle to obvious and may differ significantly from person to person. Some of the most common signs of hyperthyroidism include:
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Weight loss, even with a healthy appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Muscle weakness
- Hand tremors
- Frequent bowel movements
- Easily becoming overheated
- Eyes that appear to bulge outward (if caused by Graves’ disease)
- Hair loss
How is Hyperthyroidism Diagnosed?
Diagnosing hyperthyroidism usually begins with a physical exam and review of the patient’s medical history. From there, blood tests may be ordered to measure thyroid hormone levels. If a physician suspects hyperthyroidism or another thyroid issue, an imaging procedure such as thyroid ultrasound or scan will likely be performed to view images of the thyroid gland and confirm a diagnosis.
How is Hyperthyroidism Treated?
Hyperthyroidism treatment may involve a combination of approaches, including medication to shrink the thyroid gland, help regulate thyroid hormone production or ease uncomfortable symptoms. In other cases, surgery to remove the thyroid gland may be appropriate.
TGH’s Parathyroid & Thyroid Institute is home to world-class thyroid specialists who provide individualized care to people with hyperthyroidism and other complex thyroid disorders. Our surgeons, Dr. Douglas Politz and Dr. José Lopez, are among the most experienced surgeons operating in the world today. They utilize advanced muscle-sparing techniques to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients. Thanks in part to our progressive approach to treatment, U.S. News & World Report ranks us as Florida’s top hospital for Ear, Nose and Throat for 2022-23.