Thyroid disorders have an increased risk of developing into something more serious. Subclinical hyperthyroidism is one such issue. In this situation, your thyroid hormone levels become imbalanced and can affect your quality of life. Learn what subclinical hyperthyroidism is and what treatment options are available.
Subclinical hyperthyroidism means that you have an overactive thyroid, but it is usually not severe enough to cause any symptoms or require treatment. You might only know you have it if you get a blood test done. Thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating metabolism, so when thyroid hormone levels are elevated, your body will start to work faster than normal. This can cause problems like weight loss, sweating, and an irregular heartbeat. However, people with subclinical hyperthyroidism typically do not need treatment, as their thyroid levels will spontaneously return to normal.
Endogenous Subclinical Hyperthyroidism.
Now that you know subclinical hyperthyroidism means you have an overactive thyroid, we can break down the different triggers of overt hyperthyroidism.
Starting with endogenous subclinical hyperthyroidism, this condition is closely related to Graves disease. Graves’ disease is a thyroid condition when the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. This can cause problems like an enlarged thyroid, bulging eyes, and a rapid heartbeat. This disease typically shows in patients before age 40.
Exogenous Subclinical Hyperthyroidism.
Continuing on to the second form of subclinical hyperthyroidism, exogenous subclinical hyperthyroidism can be due to overzealous thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
Patients with subclinical hyperthyroidism should know that abnormal serum thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels don’t always lead to subclinical hyperthyroidism. This is why it is important to stay on top of doctor visits and get careful examinations done to ensure optimum thyroid health.
Moving on to overt hyperthyroidism, this is caused by low serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentrations and raised serum concentrations of thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4), tri-iodothyronine (T3), or both. T4 is converted to T3 by the body which is the active form of thyroid hormone.
All of these types of hyperthyroidism are associated with thyroid dysfunction. The goal of holistic practitioners is to get all these hormones back into balance and improve your quality of life. Checking your thyroid hormone levels is important, especially if you are trying to determine whether or not you have subclinical or clinical hyperthyroidism.
What Causes Endogenous Subclinical Hyperthyroidism?
Endogenous overproduction of thyroid hormones is what can cause subclinical hyperthyroidism. Multiple diseases can be common causes of endogenous subclinical hyperthyroidism. Some of those diseases are known to be Graves’ disease, thyroid nodules and adenomas.
A proper medical history helps determine if a patient has subclinical hyperthyroidism. Some key things that doctors would look out for are low TSH levels with normal thyroid hormone levels. Thyroid diseases need to be monitored regularly and checking TSH and thyroid hormone levels will help assess thyroid function.
How Are Thyroid Hormones Affected?
Patients with subclinical hyperthyroidism can experience a variety of symptoms. These symptoms can include heart palpitations, tremors, sweating, nervousness, anxiety, fear, and inability to concentrate. Additionally, some cases have been known to increase one's chances of developing dementia.
Both short-term and long-term risks have been associated with cardiovascular changes and hyperthyroidism. Whether you are experiencing the symptoms of exogenous subclinical hyperthyroidism or endogenous subclinical hyperthyroidism, both types of hyperthyroidism are associated with arrhythmias and elevated heart rates. Studies spanning over 10 years indicate that the heart can be easily affected by the level of thyroid hormones in the body.
Don't forget to stay on top of your doctor visits and ensure subclinical hyperthyroidism doesn't negatively affect your body.
Hyperthyroidism is also a risk factor for osteoporosis and bone fractures. Along with an additional thyroid hormone being created in one's body, there is an accelerated rate of bone remodeling. This causes a decrease in bone mineral density increasing risk for fracture.
Treatment Options Regarding Subclinical Hyperthyroidism
There are various options for treating subclinical hyperthyroidism
The type of hyperthyroidism you have determines the best course of treatment for you. Patients with toxic multinodular goiter should look into radioactive iodine ablation, while anti-thyroid medications and radioactive iodine are better options for Graves’ disease. Let's look at each option a little more closely. Please note the following approaches are not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure Hyperthyroidism, and cannot be used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Anti-thyroid therapy begins with low doses over a period of time. Your doctor will carefully monitor your response to therapy throughout your treatment course.
A beta-blocker treatment is typically recommended if a patient with hyperthyroidism is experiencing adrenergic symptoms such as elevated heart rate or palpitations. Beta blockers work by blocking the effects of the hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline.
How to Prevent Thyroid Disease.
Now that you know the causes of subclinical hyperthyroidism and the risk factors involved with thyroid disease, you can do your best to prevent it from happening. There are multiple ways to prevent subclinical hyperthyroidism from negatively impacting you. Step one is working with a holistic practitioner and expressing your concerns so that they can put you on the right track to a healthy life.
Checking with your doctor and having a comprehensive medical history and exam is the start of avoiding the disease. If you are a smoker, there are compounds in cigarettes that can disrupt your thyroid function. Try to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.