Hyperthyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland is producing excessive thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland is a small butterfly shaped gland located in front of your neck. It has two lobes, the left and right and is connected by the isthmus. Thyroid hormones are important as they help regulate your body’s metabolism by controlling how it uses energy. It therefore affects almost the entire body.
If hyperthyroidism is left untreated, it can lead to serious complications that affect the heart, bones, muscles, fertility, menstrual cycle, and even issues in a pregnant mother and child. The overall incidence is estimated to be about 0.05% to 1.3% of the global population. In the United States, Caucasians and Hispanics have a higher likelihood of having hyperthyroidism compared to other populations. It also occurs more in females compared to males.
Symptom #1: Weight Loss
In hyperthyroidism, due to the excessive levels of active thyroid hormones, the metabolism of the body increases leading to weight loss despite an increase in appetite. Patients usually report an approximate loss of an average of 15% of their normal weight.
In the body, there is increased lipolysis (the breakdown of lipids through the process of hydrolysis into free fatty acids and glycerol) and lipogenesis (fatty acid formation).