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What is hyperthyroidism? Symptoms, treatments and causes

Excessive thyroid hormones cause an increase in metabolism, which accounts for many symptoms, among them nervousness, irritability, mood swings, and reduced concentration. Photo: Pexels

(Adam Felman/ Medical News Today) — Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much hormone. This can have effects throughout the body, including diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and fatigue.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck. The hormones it produces and releases into the bloodstream control the body’s growth and metabolism.

Around 1 in 100 people over the age of 12 years in the United States have hyperthyroidism. It is most likely to occur in individuals over 60 years.

Hyperthyroidism is separate from hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. “Hyper” means there is too much thyroid hormone in the system, while “hypo” means there is not enough. (…)