If you have ever had swelling in your neck or felt long periods of tiredness and soreness of your joints, you would have seen your doctor and the subject of an overactive thyroid would have come up. It’s one of those things we hear about a lot as we get older but, it’s not something we have to suffer from. There are some things to avoid and there are some easy treatments to ensure we don’t feel the effects.
So what causes an overactive thyroid?
The most common cause of an overactive thyroid is Graves’ disease. In fact, 75% of all cases are caused by Graves’ disease. It’s an auto-immune condition which attacks the actual thyroid gland, which then defends itself by over producing the hormone. Unfortunately, there is no known cause of Graves’ disease, it could be hereditary and it mainly affects women in their younger years. With no known cause, there’s no way to avoid it or prepare for it.
Excessive Iodine Levels
It’s crucial to have iodine in our diets, and iodine plays a key role in the normal function of our bodies. Yet, as with a lot of things in life, too much iodine can greatly affect the way that your thyroid works. The thyroid gland will kick into excess production if it senses that our bodies have too much iodine floating around. Luckily, this one is really easy to fix. Most iodine is introduced into the body via a medicine or vitamin supplement. Simply, stopping these tablets will allow your iodine levels to drop back to normal and the thyroid will stop over producing hormones.
Nodules are lumps and bumps which form on the thyroid gland itself. They are normally benign and will have no other impact on your body, but they will cause a reaction in the gland. The cause of the nodules is not known, but it mainly impacts people over 60 years old. The overactive reaction is treated by taking Armour Thyroid. A simple tablet which will ease the swelling and reduce the production of hormones.
Unfortunately, there are several side effects to becoming pregnant. Whilst most people know about the increased risk of diabetes, there’s also an increased risk of an overactive thyroid. When the human body is going through the stages of pregnancy, it will produce high volumes of chorionic gonadotrophin. This is unfortunately very natural but will kick the thyroid gland into overdrive. The fortunate side of this, is that after pregnancy, the overactive thyroid gland can be treated and it will return back to it’s normal function without long-term complications.
An overactive thyroid gland can have a huge impact on our lives, the treatments can range from a daily tablet, right up to surgery. Knowing the causes and maybe being able to prevent the thyroid gland being affected in the first place, will put all of us at a reduced chance of having problems later on in life.