Do you know someone with hyperthyroidism? For those who are not familiar with the disease, hyperthyroidism is the result of the excessive action of the thyroid. It can be due to an overproduction of the thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland, which may either be totally enlarged or may have a small mass or nodule. Inflammation of the thyroid gland, or thyroiditis, usually from autoimmune conditions, may cause hyperthyroidism.

Signs of hyperthyroidism include nervousness or irritability, palpitations, tremors, increased sweating, increased appetite and significant weight changes, frequent bowel movements, shortness of breath in limited exertion, fatigue and muscle weakness, and even sudden paralysis. For women, changes in menstrual patterns may occur, affecting ovulation and making conception difficult. Some people with hyperthyroidism may experience sleep disturbances as well as visual and mental changes.

The good news, there are several ways of treating hyperthyroidism. Check out these 4 options:

(First published as "Health Check" in the "Good Health" section of Good Housekeeping Philippines' December 2009 issue. Adapted for use in Female Network. Photo by blurdom via Flickr Creative Commons.)

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