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Hyperthyroidism is overactivity of the thyroid gland, causing it to release too much of the hormones it produces. People suffering with this condition may experience a wide range of symptoms including fatigue, weight loss, tremor, palpitation, sweating, heat intolerance, itching, frequent bowel movements, disturbance of menstrual function, weakness, and skin rash. The eyes can also be affected, causing symptoms such as increased pressure in the eye, visual disturbance such as double vision.
We can screen for and confirm hyperthyroidism using two standard blood tests. The first test measures the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in your blood. This hormone functions as a “signal” sent by the pituitary gland to stimulate the thyroid gland. In nearly all cases of hyperthyroidism, the TSH is very low or undetectable. The second test is “free T4”, which measures the amount of thyroid hormone (produced by the thyroid gland) circulating in the blood. In hyperthyroidism, this hormone is elevated.
For more about hyperthyroidism, please see handout on Grave’s Disease.