Hyperthyroidism

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Hyperthyroidism Overview:

Hyperthyroidism is an overactivity of the thyroid glands. These glands play a major role in metabolism throughout the body. With overproduction of thyroid hormones T4 and T3, metabolic processes are increased, generating excess heat within the body, and increased hunger levels.


Aetiology:

Overactive thyroid function can be the result of several key disease processes. It can be the result of autoimmune conditions (Grave's disease), pituitary tumors, or viral infection. 

Most hyperthyroidism causes are primary conditions with the exception of iatrogenic causes or pregnancy. 

Other causes include:

  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Iodine supplementation

Symptoms:

Anxiety

Irritability

Tachycardia

Low heat tolerance

Heart palpitations

Profuse perspiration

Flushed skin

Amenorrhea

Increased appetite

Muscle fatigue/weakness

Constipation or diarrhea

Progressive weight loss

Bulging eyes

Goitre


Diagnostics:

Thyroid Function Testing

Condition TSH T4 T3
Healthy Normal Normal Normal
Hyperthyroidism (Primary) Low High High (first)
Hyperthyroidism (Secondary) High High High (first)
Hypothyroidism (Primary) High Low (first) Low
Hypothyroidism (Secondary) Low Low (First) Low

Normal Thyroid Hormone Ranges

Hormone Normal Range
TSH 0.2-4.0 mU/mL
Free T4 10-25 pmol/L
Free T3 4-8pmol/L

Thyroid Scanning

A radioactive dye is swallowed and the thyroid is scanned. This can be used to assess thyroid activity afte the uptake of radioactive dye. The darker the scan the more metabolic activity that is taking place. 


Therapeutic Aims:

1. Treat Symptomatic Anxiety

For symptomatic support, reduce anxious side effects of hyperthyroidism.

  • Relaxing nervines (Lycopus spp., Passiflora incarnata)

2. Modulate Thyroid Function

....

  • Thyroid Modulators (Dampeners)

3. Treat Symptomatic Heart Palpitations and Tachycardia

...

  • Cardiac tonics (Crataegus spp.)
  • ...

4. Treat Possible Autoimmune Causes

...

  • Immunomodulators (Echinaceae purpurea)
  • Immune Suppressants (Hemidesmus)

5. Treat Any Suspected Viral Causes

...

  • Antivirals (Hypericum perforatum)
  • ...

6. Dietary Considerations

...

  • ↑ Dietary Goitrogens
  • ↑ Carnitine

Differential Diagnosis:

  • Graves Disease

Cautions:

Avoid iodine containing herbs and food, especially if Grave's disease is suspected.


Herbs For Hyperthyroidism

  • Lycopus spp.
  • Scutellaria baicalensis

Hyperthyroidism Formula

Herb Name Ratio Amount in mL
Lycopus spp. 1:2 20 mL
Leonurus cardiaca 1:2 20 mL
Scutellaria spp. 1:2 20 mL
Crataegus spp. 1:2 20 mL
Bupleurum falciform 1:2 20 mL
Total 100 mL

Common Drug Therapies For Hyperthyroidism:

  • Goitrogens
  • Iodine & radioactive iodine
    • High doses depress TRH and TSH release.
  • Carbimazole
  • Propylthiouracil

Author:

Justin Cooke

The Sunlight Experiment

Updated: November 2017


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References:

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