Hyperthyroidism is when your thyroid – the butterfly-shaped gland at the bottom of your neck, just above your collarbone – makes too much of a hormone called thyroxine.

Overview and Symptoms

Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism can accelerate your body's metabolism, causing unintentional weight loss and a rapid or irregular heartbeat. Although hyperthyroidism can be serious if you ignore it, most people respond well once hyperthyroidism is diagnosed and treated. Hyperthyroidism can mimic other health problems, which can make it difficult for your doctor to diagnose. It can also cause a wide variety of signs and symptoms.

Treatment at BIDMC

Hyperthyroidism is very treatable with medication or sometimes radioactive iodine therapy to damage the cells that make thyroid hormones. In rare cases, surgery to remove the thyroid may be needed.

Surgery for Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism can often be treated with medications, but if those don't work, the thyroid can be surgically removed with either traditional surgery where an incision is made on the outside of the neck, or with transoral surgery.

Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

The Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism provides expertise in diagnosing, treating and managing a range of endocrine disorders. 

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