Shortened life due to hyperthyroidism



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Hyperthyroidism leads to a reduction in life time

Even a slight hyperthyroidism has serious health consequences. It shortens life and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. This resulted in a meta-analysis of the Thyroid Studies Collaboration.

Overactive thyroid gland can increase risk of cardiovascular disease
The thyroid is an important organ. It controls central tasks in metabolism and influences growth, performance and psyche. Over one percent of the population is overactive. Autoimmune disease is often the cause in younger people. "In Graves' disease, certain antibodies drive the production of thyroid hormones and the patient develops symptoms such as tremors, inner restlessness, sweating and weight loss," explains DGE media spokesman Professor Helmut Schatz from Bochum. In older people, so-called "hot “In both cases the thyroid is beyond the control of the pituitary gland,” explains the expert. The pituitary gland normally controls the formation of the thyroid hormone through the release of the hormone Thyrotropin (TSH). In the event of an overfunction, the TSH value in the blood first decreases. As the disease progresses, the increased thyroid hormones completely suppress it.

People who suffer from hyperthyroidism have too many thyroid hormones in their blood and an accelerated metabolism. As a result, sufferers lose weight, sweat quickly and have to struggle with muscle loss. In addition, sleep disorders, rapid heartbeat, hair loss and difficulty concentrating can occur. As a result, cardiac arrhythmias can occur. Untreated hyperthyroidism can even be life-threatening.

According to a new study, the heart of sufferers suffers from a slight hyperfunction. The Thyroid Studies Collaboration evaluated medical data from 50,000 participants for its meta-analysis. They included 2,200 people who suffered from mild hyperfunction, known as subclinical hyperthyroidism, but had no complaints. The evaluation showed that this group of people has a 68 percent increased risk of atrial fibrillation. The death rate was increased by 24 percent compared to the normal population.

Overactive thyroid should be treated by the endocrinologist
Due to the worrying study results, the German Society for Endocrinology (DGE) advises that thyroid hyperfunction be treated early in the “latent” stage. A Belgian study from 2009 has also scientifically proven the dramatic consequences of hyperfunction. Accordingly, a slight hyperthyroidism shortens the life of older people. The risk of a fatal stroke is increased. Affected women also more often suffer from bone loss, the so-called osteoporosis. So far, it has been common practice not to treat latent hyperthyroidism unless there are complaints.

With a blood test, the doctor can quickly determine whether a patient is suffering from an overactive thyroid. While the hormone TSH is present in reduced concentration, the actual thyroid hormones T3 and T4 are still within the normal range, provided that it is a slight overfunction. If symptoms occur, those affected should always consult a doctor. This will determine the further treatment. "Malfunctions of the thyroid gland - regardless of whether it is strong or weak - best belong in the hands of an endocrinologist," explains Schatz. (Ag)

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Image: Dieter Schütz / pixelio.de

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