Hypothyroidism Assignment Discussion
Hypothyroidism refers to the condition where the thyroid gland is unable to produce adequate thyroid hormone. Because thyroid hormone is used to run the metabolism of the body, hypothyroidism is associated with a slow metabolism. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive and produces excess thyroxine hormone. Hyperthyroidism increases the metabolism of the body and therefore can cause unintended weight loss and a fast or irregular heartbeat (Leo & Lewis, 2016). Hypothyroidism Assignment Discussion
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include fatigue, weight loss, sleep problems, dry skin, fast heartbeat, weight loss, hand tremors, anxiety, heart palpitations, hyperactivity, increased appetite, breathing difficulties, loss of interest in sex, and increased regularity of bowel movements (Leo & Lewis, 2016). On the other hand, symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, dry hair, skin paleness and dryness, loss of hair, constipation, depression, reduced libido, loss of memory, cold intolerance, muscle aches, and weight gain as well (Wong & Inder, 2018).
Causes of Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism
Several factors that cause hyperthyroidism include Grave’s disease, nodular thyroid disease, Graves’ disease, excessive iodine intake, and some medications. Grave’s disease is an autoimmune condition and it is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. In nodular thyroid disease, lumps develop within the thyroid gland and they affect thyroid function leading to overactivity of the thyroid (Wong & Inder, 2018). Excess iodine intake is also associated with hyperthyroidism because excess iodine causes the thyroid gland to produce excess thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), causing hyperthyroidism. Medications such as lithium and amiodarone contain high levels of iodine and this may induce changed within the thyroid function (Wong & Inder, 2018).
Hypothyroidism is caused by inflammation of the thyroid gland which leads to the destruction of thyroid cells rendering the thyroid unable to produce adequate hormones. Medical treatments also cause hypothyroidism. There are many medical treatments that involve partial or complete removal of the thyroid gland and therefore the thyroid gland cannot produce adequate hormones to meet the boy needs (Wong & Inder, 2018).
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Diagnostic Tests of Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism
Thyroids tests can be effective in diagnosing hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Thyroid tests examine how well the thyroid tests are working. These tests include thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test, T3 test, T4 test, and thyroid antibody tests. TSH test is used to check the levels of TSH in the blood. High levels of thyroid stimulating hormone indicate that a person has hypothyroidism while low levels of thyroid stimulating hormone indicate that an individual has hyperthyroidism (Wiersinga, 2015). On the other hand, high levels of T4 in the blood indicate that an individual has hyperthyroidism while low levels of T4 indicate the presence of hypothyroidism. Similarly, for the T3 test, high levels of T3 indicate the presence of hyperthyroidism while a low level of T3 is an indication of hypothyroidism. Finally, thyroid antibody tests are also useful in diagnosing hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. This test involves measuring the amount of thyroid antibodies in order to diagnosis causes of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism (Wiersinga, 2015). Hypothyroidism Assignment Discussion
Possible Treatment for Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism
The treatment goal for hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism is the restoration of normal blood levels of thyroid hormone. Levothyroxine medication has been shown to be effective in the treatment of hypothyroidism. Levothyroxine is a synthetic hormone that is used to replace absent thyroid hormone within the body (Wiersinga, 2015). On the other hand, treatment of hyperthyroidism involves normalizing the production of thyroid hormone. Therefore, treatment of hyperthyroidism may include drug therapy to stop hormone production or radioactive iodine treatment for disabling the thyroid. Other medications used to treat hyperthyroidism include antithyroid medications that hinder the ability of the thyroid to produce thyroid hormones. Some of these drugs include Methimazole and propylthiouracil that are effective in controlling symptoms common in hyperthyroidism. Methimazole and propylthiouracil directly target the thyroid gland to decrease the production of hormone T4 and T3 (Wiersinga, 2015).
Patient’s Education, Prevention and Follow up Care
Patients with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism should be educated about diet intake especially with iodine intake because low or high iodine intake can contribute to any thyroid disorder. In addition, patients should be educated about the risk of relapse as well as the potential late-onset of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism (Kalra et al, 2017). This is because sometimes even the aggressive treatment does not improve the clinical manifestations of thyroid disorder such as ocular, physiological and cardiac complications.
Regarding follow-up care, patients need close monitoring after hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, particularly during the initial three months. After the first year, patients are supposed to have annual monitoring even when the patients are asymptomatic. This is because patients treated for hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, have a higher mortality risk and also increased the risk from cerebrovascular, thyroid and cardiovascular diseases, as well as hip fractures. In addition, these patients should be screened for any atherosclerotic and osteoporosis risk factors (Wong & Inder, 2018). Finally, patients undergoing hyperthyroidism treatment are at high risk of obesity and insulin resistance, as well as thromboembolism and hence require close monitoring (Kalra et al, 2017). Hypothyroidism Assignment Discussion
Kalra S, Aggarwal R, Bajaj S, Sahay R, Saboo B, Ghosh S & Gupta P. (2017). Patient-centered Management of Hypothyroidism. Indian J Endocrinal Metab. 21(3), 475–477.
Leo S & Lewis B. (2016).Hyperthyroidism. Lancet. 388(10047), 906–918.
Wiersinga W. (2015). Guidance in Subclinical Hyperthyroidism and Subclinical Hypothyroidism: Are We Making Progress? Eur Thyroid J. 4(3), 143–148.
Wong M & Inder W. (2018). Alternating hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism in Graves’ disease. Clin Case Rep. 6(9), 1684–1688.
Hypothyroidism Assignment Discussion