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Hyperthyroidism - Essay Example

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Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism can also be due to hereditary factors. People with a family history of thyroid disease have an increased chance of developing it themselves. Age and sex are also factors, with most cases occurring after age 50 and women more likely than men to develop thyroid dysfunction (Holcomb 2003). Hyperthyroidism usually begins slowly. At first, the symptoms may be mistaken for simple nervousness due to stress. If the patient has been trying to lose weight by dieting, he may be pleased with his initial success until he found out that he has hyperthyroidism, which has quickened the weight loss, however, causes other problems (What is Hyperthyroidism 2003). In Graves' disease, which is the most common form of hyperthyroidism, the eyes may look enlarged because the upper lids are elevated. Sometimes, one or both eyes may bulge. Some patients have swelling of the front of the neck from an enlarged thyroid gland (a goiter) (What is Hyperthyroidism 2003).
Historical perspective of hyperthyroidism
One of the first references to the thyroid gland in Western medicine is in 1656, when it was thought that the main function of the thyroid gland was to lubricate the trachea (Hamdy 1995). It was also believed to have a cosmetic function in women. Paintings going back to ancient Egypt often emphasize the size of the thyroid gland in women. In the early 1800s, the thyroid was thought to be a vascular shunt to divert the blood flow from the brain. In 1811, cancer of the thyroid was the first disease of the thyroid to be described (Hamdy 1995).
Anatomy and physiology associated with hyperthyroidism
In patients with the syndrome of...
One of the first references to the thyroid gland in Western medicine is in 1656 when it was thought that the main function of the thyroid gland was to lubricate the trachea. It was also believed to have a cosmetic function in women. Paintings going back to ancient Egypt often emphasize the size of the thyroid gland in women. In the early 1800s, the thyroid was thought to be a vascular shunt to divert the blood flow from the brain. In 1811, cancer of the thyroid was the first disease of the thyroid to be described.
In patients with the syndrome of hyperthyroidism, tissues are exposed to over large amounts of thyroid hormones. Thyrotoxicosis was originally a clinical term that described the appearance of affected patients, who have tachycardia, warm moist skin, and raised body temperature. Thyrotoxicosis is used to refer to any condition in which there is an excessive amount of circulating thyroid hormone, irrespective of whether the hormone leaks from a damaged gland (thyroiditis), is secreted by the gland (Graves' disease), or is exogenous (factitious thyrotoxicosis). However, the difference between hyperthyroidism and thyrotoxicosis does not necessarily clarify the pathophysiology or treatment of each condition (Cooper 2003). In rare cases, hyperthyroidism can cause a serious medical condition called thyroid storm, which develops when the thyroid gland releases huge amounts of thyroid hormones in less time. Thyroid storm is mostly by a stressful event or a serious illness, such as a major infection (What happened? 2005). ...Show more

Summary

The author of the essay "Hyperthyroidism" provides the description of the above-mentioned disease. Admittedly, the term hyperthyroidism is used to broadly describe a clinical syndrome caused by either acute or chronic excess production or release of thyroid hormones…
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