General questions and answers about hyperthyroidism

  • What is hyperthyroidism?
    • Hyperthyroidism is when your thyroid is hyperactive and makes too much thyroid hormone.
  • What are the causes of hyperthyroidism?
    • The most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the US is overproduction of thyroid hormone due to Graves’ disease, toxic multinodular goiter or a toxic adenoma. 
  • What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?
    • Symptoms include racing heart rate, palpitations, insomnia, anxiety, weight loss, heat intolerance, muscle weakness and excessive sweating.
  • What are the indications for surgery?
    • Surgery is one of three options to treat hyperthyroidism. The others are radioactive iodine and medication.
    • Your physician will discuss with you the risks and benefits of all three options and help you decide which is most appropriate.

Fairly absolute indications for surgery include moderate or severe eye disease in Graves’ disease, large goiter with compressive symptoms, any suspicion of cancer, and pregnant patients or those wanting to become pregnant in the next one to two years.