Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces more hormones than the body needs. This may speed up metabolism, causing symptoms such as nervousness or irritability, hand tremors, rapid or irregular heartbeat, and weight loss.1

While little is known about why some people get hyperthyroidism, it is more prevalent in women, people with other thyroid problems, and those over the age of 60.1

Conditions commonly associated with hyperthyroidism:

  • Grave’s disease—This autoimmune disorder accounts for more than 70% of hyperthyroidism cases and occurs when autoantibodies in the body cause the thyroid to enlarge and produce excessive amount of thyroid hormones2
  • Goiter (toxic nodular or multinodular)—This type is caused by nodules or lumps in the thyroid that may grow and cause more thyroid hormone to be released into the blood2
  • Thyroiditis—This is inflammation of the thyroid caused by an immune response, a viral infection, or too much thyroid hormone intake that causes stored thyroid hormone to leak2
  • Excessive iodine intake from food or supplements1

Hyperthyroidism Diagnosis

Hyperthyroidism is initially suspected when an enlarged thyroid gland and a rapid pulse are detected by a physical examination.2 A diagnosis is usually confirmed by laboratory tests that measure the levels of thyroid hormones (eg, T3 and T4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood.2 For example, a high level of T4 in the blood with a low level of TSH is common sign of an overactive thyroid gland.2

Following diagnosis, the patient may be given radioactive iodine to determine how the thyroid gland is functioning. Once the radioactive iodine is absorbed, the physician can obtain a scan of the thyroid using a special camera to assess the thyroid’s ability to absorb iodine and produce thyroid hormones.

Hyperthyroidism Treatment

Treatment of hyperthyroidism varies depending on individual patient characteristics, but may include antithyroid medication, radioactive iodine to slow the production of thyroid hormones, or the surgical removal of a part of or the entire thyroid.1 In the U.S., 60% of clinical endocrinologists select I-131 as primary therapy for Graves’ disease, the most common cause of hyperthyroidism.3 Thyroid cells naturally and selectively absorb iodine, a mineral found in foods such as iodized salt, dairy product, eggs, and some seafood. Once administered to the patient, radioactive iodine enters the blood stream and is taken up by overactive thyroid cells, which are destroyed. As a result, the level of thyroid hormone in the blood and its metabolic effects return to normal or, in some cases, reduce thyroid hormone levels to the point that hypothyroidism occurs.

60% of clinical endocrinologists select I-131 as primary therapy for Graves’ disease, the most common cause of hyperthyroidism

60% of clinical endocrinologists select I-131 as primary therapy for Graves’ disease, the most common cause of hyperthyroidism3

To support health care professionals who care for patients with hyperthyroidism, Jubilant DraxImage is committed to providing pharmaceutical grade radioactive iodine for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

Learn more about I-131 Diagnostic Capsules and HICON® I-131 from Jubilant DraxImage.

References:

  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedLine Plus. Hyperthyroidism. Available at: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hyperthyroidism.html. Accessed on May 2, 2016.
  2. American Thyroid Association. Hyperthyroidism. Available at: www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/patients/brochures/Hyper_brochure.pdf. Accessed on May 2, 2016.
  3. Burch HB, Burman KD, Cooper DS. A 2011 survey of clinical practice patterns in the management of Graves’ disease. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012;97(12):4549-4558.