Mild hyperthyroidism is seen in 0.7 to 12.4% of the population. Patients with an overactive thyroid are assigned to two categories: patients with low, but detectable TSH values, and patients with undetectable TSH values. Patients with undetectable TSH are at greater risk to develop heart problems such as atrial fibrillation, an arrhythmia with chaotic heartbeat that causes poor blood circulation. This detrimental effect is most frequently seen in the elderly.19
An expert panel recently recommended that patients older than 60 years with undetectable TSH values should be treated17. For younger patients without symptoms, close monitoring seems appropriate.17,19
If you want to know more about under- or over activity of your thyroid, visit the following websites:
Patient information by the Thyroid Federation International
Patient information on thyroid health published by the American Thyroid Association (ATA)
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- 17ATA/AACE Guidelines 2011. Hyperthyroidism and other causes of thyrotoxicosis: Management guidelines of the American Thyroid Association and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Accessed January 2012
- 19Biondi B et al. The Clinical Significance of Subclinical Thyroid Dysfunction. Endo Rev 2008; 29 (1): 76-131