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Hyperthyroidism - Research Paper Example

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Introduction In evidence-based practice, only after the problem is understood and researched can medical professionals state a current best method of treatment. In this type of medical practice, medical professionals rely on cutting-edge research results to make treatment decisions, rather than on the older method of assuming that tradition and authority always held the right answers for a patient. The best patient care is recognized to be a combination of the current valid medical research, a practitioner's own experience and education, and the situation of an individual patient (Fineout-Overholt, Stillwell, Williamson, Cox, & Robbins, 2010). Applied to the area of thyroid dysfunction, evidence-based and best practice guidelines could mean recognizing the effect of a specific patient's lifestyle on their body's health in order to tell the difference between simple obesity and a depressed thyroid, for example, and keeping up with the most current literature on which types of thyroid hormones are considered to be most effective (Maas, 2007). Since by some estimates, as much as five percent of the general female population and more than twenty-five percent of the entire population over the age of seventy-five suffers from some form of thyroid disease, it is vitally important that the medical community understand these issues as they relate to thyroid dysfunction (Maas, 2007; Mulryan, 2010). Some types of thyroid dysfunction result in the over-production of metabolic hormones. This over-production results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism (Mulryan, 2010). Hyperthyroidism is most commonly seen in women until the age of sixty-five or seventy-five, at which point, as in seen in thyroid disease across the board, the incidence greatly increases and becomes equally likely between the sexes (Gutierrez, 2008). As would be expected from a gland whose purpose is to regulate the body's metabolism, hyperthyroidism leads to a severely increased basal metabolic rate. The overactive thyroid can produce as much as five to fifteen times the normal amount of thyroid hormones and can result in a myriad of detrimental effects on the rest of the body. This increase in secretion is achieved through an increase in the size and available cellular matrix of the thyroid gland, so that many more cells can live within the gland, as well as through an increase in the secretion of hormone by the individual thyroid cells (Hall, 2011). Generally, this condition is induced by a direct infection within or damage to the thyroid gland itself, though it can also occur rarely as a secondary disorder when there is a dysfunction in the pituitary or hypothalamus glands (McCance, Huether, Brashers, & Rore, 2010). The most common diseases that lead to either the primary or secondary dysfunction of the glands are auto-immune diseases, while some causes of reversible primary damage to the thyroid itself are an iodine deficiency in the diet or viral infection of the thyroid (Mulryan, 2010). Long-term hyperthyroidism is connected with an increase in patient morbidity and mortality, especially that related to cardiac disease and stroke (Biondi & Kahaly, 2010). Signs and Symptoms Despite the varying causes of hyperthyroidism, there exist a fairly distinct set of signs and symptoms that result from the ...Show more


Hyperthyroidism June 30, 2011 Hyperthyroidism The thyroid is a gland inside of the human throat which is located on the trachea just below the larynx. It is responsible for maintaining the rate of chemical reactions in the cells of the body, otherwise known as the body's metabolism, through the secretion of various hormones…
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