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Weight Loss Could Signal Hyperthyroidism

If you have experienced sudden, unexplained weight loss, you may
have an overactive thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism.

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck that regulates your metabolism. When there is a problem with the thyroid, it can affect many functions of the body.

“Hyperthyroidism can cause a wide range of symptoms,” says Ahmad Z. Sheikh, MD, FACE, ECNU, CCD, endocrinologist at Saint Francis Medical Center. “In addition to weight loss, symptoms can include rapid heartbeat, increased appetite, nervousness, sweating, tremors and changes in menstrual patterns.”

Sheikh_AhmadIf you do have hyperthyroidism, there are a wide range of treatments, including:

  • radioactive iodine taken by mouth, which causes your thyroid to shrink and symptoms to stop after three to six months
  • medications that prevent your thyroid gland from producing excess amounts of thyroid hormones
  • beta blockers, which can reduce your rapid heart rate

For more information, call 573-331-3000.

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