Causes and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis
What is thyrotoxicosis?
Thyrotoxicosis is a process that occurs in the human body due to a persistent increase in the number of thyroid hormones. In medical practice, the synonym "hyperthyroidism" is also used, which means an increase in the function of the thyroid gland. However, the latter can occur in everyday conditions, for example, in women during pregnancy, so that it is the term "thyrotoxicosis" that makes it possible to most fully reveal the meaning of the disease (intoxication with thyroid hormones, otherwise poisoning).
Thyrotoxicosis is a pathology, but the opposite of hypothyroidism. The point is that with a low content of thyroid hormones, the speed of all processes functioning in the human body decreases, and with thyrotoxicosis, the opposite is true: metabolism proceeds to the greatest extent with maximum activity.
Symptoms of thyrotoxicosis
The main symptoms of thyrotoxicosis are a regular feeling of fever in patients, as well as increased sweating, the skin of such patients is moist and hot. These symptoms are also expressed in the absence of an increase in temperature. Often there are also sharp "inflows" of blood to the head, face, neck; many suffering from thyrotoxicosis have a sharp hair loss, while the hair itself is thin and brittle.
Patients need the help of a specialist, since all of them have mental disorders, expressed in the form of aggression, mild excitability, and excessive fussiness. Their state is constantly changing: from a feeling of joy, euphoria, it abruptly turns into tearfulness, despondency and even depression.
Causes of thyrotoxicosis
The main cause of thyrotoxicosis is Graves – Basedow disease, which is also called diffuse toxic goiter. It is recorded in seventy-five percent of cases. This disease is in most cases hereditary and can be present together with other autoimmune diseases - for example, autoimmune thyroiditis, this is caused by the involvement of this disease in the type of autoimmune.
If there is a group of genes or at least one gene responsible for the spread of this disease within the same family, then diffuse toxic goiter and autoimmune thyroiditis will be observed in those of its members who are their carriers. There are rare cases when infants or children suffered from this disease, in most cases these are persons between the ages of twenty and forty.
Many believe that human immunity forms certain antibodies directed to the cells of the thyroid gland (namely, to the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor), which are the reasons for the appearance of such a phenomenon as an autoimmune process in diffuse toxic goiter. In the future, an increase in the number of hormones in the blood is observed, since the functional activity of the gland is increased many times.
It is impossible to determine why these antibodies appear, but there is an assumption that all sorts of microbes are to blame, which cause further spread of the disease.
There is a version that patients in whom the disease progresses have abnormal receptors for thyroid-stimulating hormone, and the immune system in this case will perceive them as foreign. The second option is that the prerequisites for the disease are immunity disorders that do not stop the immune response against their tissues.
Forms of thyrotoxicosis
There are three forms of thyrotoxicosis - severe, moderate and mild.
A severe form of thyrotoxicosis is diagnosed in cases when a dysfunction of the thyroid gland was observed earlier, but it was not cured or the wrong treatment was prescribed that was required. As a result of this form, other systems and organs are also affected, causing their severe dysfunction.
The average form of thyrotoxicosis is characterized by a high heartbeat of the patient (usually about one hundred and twenty beats per minute), he greatly loses weight. There is a regular tachycardia, which is not influenced by either body position or sleep. Typical signs are digestive disorders, which result in diarrhea, symptoms of adrenal insufficiency occur, cholesterol levels decrease, problems with carbohydrate metabolism occur, changes in the heartbeat occur, which, although temporary, are no less harmful.
A mild form of thyrotoxicosis causes weight loss, but within normal limits, the heartbeat is about one hundred beats per minute, and tachycardia is mild. Here dysfunction occurs only in the thyroid gland, there is no effect on other organs, heart contractions are within normal limits.
The causes of all three forms are toxic diffuse goiter, but sometimes the reasons can be a high iodine content (usually caused by the use of drugs that contain it) and a large amount of thyroid hormones that enter the body from the environment. Also, if the mother suffers from an increase in the functioning of the thyroid gland, then thyrotoxicosis may appear in the infant.
Article author: Mochalov Pavel Alexandrovich | d. m. n. therapist
Education: Moscow Medical Institute. IM Sechenov, specialty - "General Medicine" in 1991, in 1993 "Occupational Diseases", in 1996 "Therapy".