Information About Serious Illness

Over time, you may notice that your heart beats quickly, that you are anxious, or that you have a lot of bowel movements. You may also feel that you just don’t have as much energy as usual. Antithyroid drugs cause allergic reactions in about 5% of the patients who use them. Often minor reactions are red rash, hives and sometimes fever and joint pain. A rarer but more serious side effect is a decrease in the number of white blood cells.

The most common cause (in more than 70% of people) is overproduction of thyroid hormone throughout the thyroid gland. This condition is also known as Graves’ disease (see the Serious Diseases brochure for more information). Graves’ disease is caused by antibodies in the blood that ignite the thyroid gland and cause too much thyroid hormone to grow and secrete. This type of hyperthyroidism tends to work in families and is more common in young women.

Thyroid disease can also stop your period for several months or more, a condition called amenorrhea. If your body’s immune system causes thyroid disease, other glands may be involved, including your ovaries. Your thyroid gland produces thyroid hormone, which controls many activities in your body, including how quickly you burn calories and your heart rate quickly. Thyroid disorders make you too much or too little of the hormone.

This cures the overactive thyroid gland, but can lead to an inactive thyroid gland. If this happens, you should take thyroid hormone for the rest of your life. Too much or too little thyroid hormone can make your period too light, heavy or irregular.

Propylthiouracil is sometimes used in specific cases, especially when Graves’ disease occurs early in pregnancy. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too many hormones. Some symptoms of hyperthyroidism can Hashimoto Thyroiditis also mimic those of menopause transition, including hot flashes, heat intolerance, palpitations, tachycardia and insomnia. The most common signs of hyperthyroidism are unplanned weight loss, goiter and exophthalmos .