Terminology Related to Overactive Thyroid Disorders

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  • 0:00 Thyroid Gland
  • 0:49 Hyperthyroidism
  • 1:28 Graves' Disease
  • 2:10 Thyroid Storm
  • 2:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Your thyroid is a hormone-producing gland found at the base of your neck. If too many hormones are produced, your overactive thyroid can lead to disorders, including hyperthyroidism, Graves' disease or a thyroid storm.

Thyroid Gland

If you've ever struggled with being overweight, you might think it would be great if you could eat as much as you want and never gain an ounce. However, sometimes we need to be careful of what we wish for. Difficulty gaining weight can indicate a problem with your thyroid gland, which is a butterfly-shaped gland found at the base of your neck that produces hormones important to your metabolism.

If these hormones, which are commonly referred to as T3 and T4, are produced at a normal rate, you go about life in a normal way. If too many hormones are produced, your thyroid gland is said to be overactive, and you experience a host of problems. In this lesson, you will learn about symptoms and disorders related to an overactive thyroid gland.


Hyperthyroidism is a term that describes an overactive thyroid that produces too many thyroid hormones. This is an easy term to recall if you think of a hyper child as a child that is overactive and can't slow down. So, a person with hyperthyroidism has an overactive thyroid that can't stop pumping out T3 and T4. As you can imagine, when there's an abundance of these metabolic hormones being pumped out, your body speeds up and you experience symptoms, such as weight loss, trouble sleeping, rapid heartbeat, and agitated behavior.

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