Thyroid (Over Active)

Hyperthyroidism is also known as Thyrotoxicosis or Graves' disease and is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces excess thyroid hormone (thyroxine) which results in effects on the whole body.


The thyroid gland controls the body's metabolic rate.  In thyrotoxicosis, the rate of metabolism is increased and this results in most of the following symptoms:

  • Weight loss despite an increased appetite.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • A fine tremor.
  • Increased nervousness and emotional instability.
  • Intolerance of heat.
  • Staring, bulging eyes.
  • Enlargement of the thyroid gland which is at the front of the neck.

The cause is usually the body developing an immune response against itself, in particular the receptors responsible for triggering the production of thyroxine. So, antibodies attach themselves to these receptors and thus cause production of thyroxine.


Your doctor will give you a blood test if you present with the symptoms above to check on the amount of thyroxine in your blood.


Your doctor is likely to prescribe medication known as a thiourea drug (Carbimazole, or Propylthiouracil) and this will reduce the production of thyroxine. Usually most people are able to come off the tablets after a year or two.


In certain cases a surgical procedure is recommended to remove part of the thyroid gland. This is known as a partial thyroidectomy and results in a drop in the amount of thyroxine being produced.

It is important to have blood tests done at regular intervals, as recommended by your doctor. This is to make sure that you do not develop an over active thyroid again.


Our Advice

  • If you have some of the following symptoms please consult your doctor: weight loss, rapid heart rate, tremor, increased nervousness, excessive sweating, staring eyes, enlarged thyroid gland.
  • Our pharmacist can advise you on your thyroid medication prescribed to you by your doctor.
  • We recommend you have regular blood tests during and after your treatment as recommended by your doctor.

Store Finder