Excessive and prolonged thyroid hormone production is the cause of hyperthyroidism. Graves' disease is the most common type of hyperthyroidism, an autoimmune disease that runs in families in which the immune system overstimulates the thyroid gland to produce hormones.
Women are ten times more likely than men to suffer from hyperthyroidism. It is widely assumed that 2% of the population is affected.
Causes of hyperthyroidism
There are various mechanisms favoring the development of the disease. The main causes of hyperthyroidism include:
Graves' disease (70% of hyperthyroidism cases)
It is an autoimmune disease that is most commonly diagnosed in young people, and sometimes in children. It often begins suddenly, with a wide range of symptoms. This type of hyperthyroidism is inherited. Graves' disease is distinguished by a high concentration of antibodies that stimulate the thyroid gland to produce hormones (these are abrTSH antibodies that imitate the action of TSH).
Overactive nodular goiter (30% of cases of hyperthyroidism)
It is most commonly diagnosed in adults. The disease manifests itself gradually at first, with only a few symptoms. It worsens in the presence of an iodine deficiency. An adenoma causes a toxic nodular goiter (a benign pituitary tumor).
Other less common causes of hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism phase in Hashimoto's disease (this disease may begin with hyperthyroidism and progress to hypothyroidism), post-infectious thyroiditis, highly differentiated thyroid cancer, secondary hyperthyroidism (due to the presence of an adenoma), drug-induced hyperactivity (e.g., after amiodarone treatment, as a result of high doses of iodine (found in contrast agents, expectorant syrups),