Hyperthyroidism and Metabolism

Most people think that having a super fast metabolism would be a dream come true. They think that with a fast metabolism, they could eat anything they wanted and never gain a pound. To a certain extent, theyre right.

If your metabolism is working overtime, then you can consume more calories without gaining weight. However, the ability to do so comes at a high price. A very fast metabolism is associated with many health conditions, some life threatening.

Overactive Thyroid

An overactive metabolism is not a weight loss cure all, but what causes metabolisms to take off in overtime anyway? One of the most common causes is hyperthyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism, also known as an overactive thyroid in laymans terms, is a condition in which the thyroid sends too many messages to your metabolism to work, causing it to speed up and speed up.

Hyperthyroidism is most commonly associated with an autoimmune condition called Graves Disease but some other conditions and some medications can cause the thyroid to become overactive.

Symptoms

Weight loss is the most obvious symptom of hyperthyroidism, as the increased metabolic rate burns up an increasing number of calories. Often, the weight loss is accompanied by an increase in appetite, also linked to the increased metabolism; so many patients first visit their doctors after they become alarmed at the rate at which they are losing weight while eating more and more.

The symptoms do not stop there, however. Because the metabolism is responsible for making sure every system in your body has the energy it needs to keep going, when it is not operating at its normal pace, the rest of the systems in your body began over responding or otherwise behaving inappropriately.

Some other indications that you have hyperthyroidism include feeling hot all of the time accompanied by heavy sweating, heart palpitations, extreme exhaustion and hair loss.

Patients may also feel depressed, experience extreme anxiety, be prone to panic attacks and have difficulty concentrating. Loss of sexual drive and intestinal distress are also experienced by patients with hyperthyroidism as a direct result of increased metabolic rate.

Treatment

Treatment of hyperthyroidism can be tricky and many patients find it takes a long time to find the right combination of therapies. Usually medications to block thyroid hormone production are used along with beta blockers to help reduce the heart palpitations.

Finding the right balance of these medications is a trial and error process, as giving too high a dose of hormone inhibitors could cause patients to become hypothyroid. Sometimes, when the thyroid cannot be brought under control, it is removed completely and the patient is given synthetic thyroid hormones to make up the lost thyroid.

Many hyperthyroid patients experience weight gain as their metabolism comes back in line, and treatment for hyperthyroidism can sometimes slow the metabolism to a lower than normal functioning rate, exacerbating weight gain. This side effect, however, is a price worth paying. A fast metabolism may burn up the pounds but the long last side effects it brings makes it not worth it for anyone with easy weight loss dreams.