The increased function of the thyroid gland (when the hormones thyroxin and triiodothyronine are raised) causes the hyperactivity of all organs and systems subordinate to the gland in the human body. The basic metabolic processes are accelerated, which leads to the excitation of the cardiovascular, autonomic and central nervous systems, and also negatively affects the psychoemotional sphere of human life. The pronounced hyperactive thyroid function is defined as thyrotoxicosis (hormonal poisoning of the body). The not clearly expressed symptomatology of hyperthyroidism, especially in the elderly, is easily confused with manifestations of chronic diseases or with age-related changes. For example, hot flashes, a sensation of fever, hyperhidrosis, etc., women may be mistaken for manifestations of an impending menopause.
The first symptoms of hyperthyroidism
The cause of hyperthyroidism may be thyroiditis of autoimmune or viral origin, goiter (Plummer syndrome, Graves disease, Basedova disease), tumor formations (cancer), ovarian tetroate (producing thyroid hormones), pituitary tumors (manifested by the production of a large amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone, for example, Troell-Junet syndrome ). Also, hyperthyroidism can rarely be observed on the background of the use of arrhythmic drugs (Amiodarone).
From the side of the cardiovascular system, the first signs of the thyroid disease with its hyperfunction are characterized by an acceleration of the heartbeat (more than 90), which can be noted both in nervous excitation and in complete rest (including nocturnal episodes). In addition to an increased heart rate, heart pain and heart rhythm disturbances (extrasystole, accompanied by loss of contractions, atrial fibrillation, flowing with intermittent pulse and death fear) can be observed.
The skin of the patient becomes moist and warm to the touch.
The first signs of a malfunction of the muscles are manifested by the small trembling of the fingers, marked with strong excitement. Subsequently, the symptomatology passes into the trembling of the hands, which can occur even in a state of rest. In severe cases, a sweeping tremor is possible with respect to both the hands and the head, similar to the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Whether the head can hurt in this case depends on the individual characteristics of the organism. As a rule, the head of the patient hurts as it hurts at elevated temperature.
An increase in energy metabolism is accompanied by an increase in temperature and a feeling of heat. First, the patient is intolerant of hot (wadded, woolen) blankets and rooms. Subsequently, there is a profuse sweating even with minimal physical exertion and at room temperature. The feeling of heat can be supplemented by reddening of the face, as well as a feeling of suffocation.
The increase in appetite occurs against the background of diarrhea, which is associated with an acceleration in the assimilation and excretion of essential nutrients. For a day, there may be five or six calls for defecation, while there may be pain in the abdomen. On ultrasound in patients with hyperthyroidism, the liver is enlarged. The question whether it can hurt while the liver remains open, but completely impossible to exclude.
Weight reduction can be quite sharp, and on the one hand it is provoked by fast evacuation from the intestines of the accepted food, and with another forced breakdown of accumulated fats and sometimes proteins. With severe hyperthyroidism, muscle mass decreases in addition to loss of the fat layer. This exhaustion of the body gradually leads to a decline in strength and development of pronounced weakness.
With moderately expressed hyperthyroidism, the sexual function can remain at the same level, and the libido in both sexes can even increase. In men, mammary gland enlargement and the development of erectile dysfunction are possible. Women may experience a disorder of the menstrual cycle and an increased likelihood of miscarriage of an existing pregnancy.
The nervous system lends itself to a noticeable excitement. At the onset of the disease, this circumstance may cause an increase in the operability and speed of the reactions, but this is accompanied by unhealthy irritability, as well as verbal and motor disinhibition. With the development of the disease, the patient’s character deteriorates noticeably. There is emotional lability (sharp and frequent mood swings), intolerance and irritation for any minor concern. There is a feeling of anxiety and fear. Perhaps the emergence of obsessive states.