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    Private GP Services & Occupational Healthcare in Edinburgh, UK.

    Do you have an overactive thyroid?

    Do you have an overactive thyroid?

    Posted on January 19th, 2024

    Women, are you feeling noticeably more anxious? Are you suffering from irritability and mood swings? Perhaps you’re having difficulty sleeping, or you’re constantly tired? Or maybe you’re feeling more sensitive to heat than usual?

    If so, it’s understandable that your first thoughts may be that it’s all connected to the menopause or perimenopause. And it’s true, many menopausal women often do experience these symptoms. However, there could be another explanation altogether – it could be due to an overactive thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism. Read on as the health experts at YourGP explain exactly what that is, what causes it, and what can be done to treat it.

    What is an overactive thyroid?

    The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located in your neck, just in front of your windpipe (trachea). It is responsible for producing a range of hormones that affect your body in a number of different ways including:

    • Metabolism
    • Heart rate
    • Breathing
    • Digestion
    • Temperature
    • Mental activity
    • Skin and bone maintenance
    • Fertility

    What causes hyperthyroidism?

    Hyperthyroidism is the result of your thyroid producing and releasing more hormones than your body needs. This can occur as the result of a number of different reasons including nodules, inflammation of the thyroid, excessive iodine in your blood, a benign tumour in your pituitary gland, or Graves’ disease which is an autoimmune condition. The good news, however, is that hyperthyroidism is treatable.

    Who is more at risk of hyperthyroidism?

    Hyperthyroidism can affect anyone at any time, but it is more common amongst women than men. There are also various other factors that can put you at a higher risk of developing it. These include:

    • A family history of thyroid disease
    • An autoimmune condition such as Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
    • Taking a medication that is high in iodine

    Take the test

    The key symptoms of hyperthyroidism include anxiety, irritability, difficulty sleeping, tiredness, sensitivity to heat, swelling of the neck, heart palpitations and weight loss.

    If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is essential that you speak to your GP as soon as possible. At YourGP, we provide short-notice appointments and can confirm whether or not you have an overactive thyroid from a simple blood test. The test measures your levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), as well as your levels of the thyroid hormones T4 and T3.

    We aim to make the whole process as straightforward and relaxed as possible. Here’s what you can expect:

    1. Your practitioner will take the blood sample from your arm.
    2. We will then send your blood sample to our specialist laboratory.
    3. Your results will be available within 48 hours.
    4. You can phone for your results between 3.30pm and 4.30pm.
    5. We can also e-mail your results to you and arrange a follow-up appointment if required.
    6. If your test results come back abnormal, we can refer you for a scan. We can also prescribe suitable medication such as antithyroid medications.

    Got a question?

    If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms associated with an overactive thyroid, make an appointment at YourGP and we’ll be happy to carry out a blood test to get to the root of the problem. You can choose a date and time that suits you via our simple online booking system, or you can email reception@your.gp. Alternatively, you call us on 0131 225 5656 or arrange a call back via our website.

     

    Doctors and reception staff are always incredibly accommodating and polite. Can’t recommend enough!

    Holly Louise H

    YourGP is regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland – the regulator for independent healthcare services across Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland accepts complaints at any time. Contact them at:

    Independent Healthcare Team
    Gyle Square | 1 South Gyle Crescent | Edinburgh | EH12 9EB
    0131 623 4342 | his.ihcregulation@nhs.scot

    YourGP is registered with the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) Registered Office: Station Road, North Street, Havant PO9 1QU.