Hyperthyroidism part ii
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Hyperthyroidism Part II. The Return of Bill Loney. Causes. Bill asks you what happened to cause all these crazy symptoms he is experiencing. You explain that it is hyperthyroidism and it is a result of one of four things: Graves’ Disease (autoimmune) Thyroid Nodule (over-secretion by tumor)

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Hyperthyroidism part ii

Hyperthyroidism Part II

The Return of Bill Loney


Bill asks you what happened to cause all these crazy symptoms he is experiencing.

You explain that it is hyperthyroidism and it is a result of one of four things:

  • Graves’ Disease (autoimmune)

  • Thyroid Nodule (over-secretion by tumor)

  • Thyroiditis (infection)

  • Overdose of thyroid hormone medication

Graves disease
Graves’ Disease

Fast Facts:

  • Most common cause of hyperthyroidism

  • 8 times more common in women

  • Diagnosed via Radioactive Iodine reuptake test and from physical exam

  • Goiter, eye involvement (exopthalamos, dryness, visual problems) and pretibial myxedema are common findings

  • Autoimmune disease known to run in families

Now what
Now what…

Mr. Loney says, “Graves’ disease? I think my mother had that too. Now what? How do I get rid of it?”

You tell him that treatments include:

  • Medications

  • Radioactive Iodine therapy

  • Surgery

  • Dietary modifications


  • You explain that the medications aren’t just for treatment but are also for symptom management and to bring thyroid levels to a manageable level before surgery

    • Anti-thyroid drugs

    • Iodine

    • Beta blockers

    • Radioactive Iodine


  • Control the symptoms, especially cardiac

    • Beta-blockers: reduce sympathetic hyper-reactivity

  • Inhibit thyroid hormone synthesis

    • Thioamides (Propylthiouracil/PTU, methimazole) prevent hormone synthesis by inhibiting thyroidal peroxidase (not curative)

  • Destroy some of the thyroid tissue

    • Radioactive iodine

  • Bring thyroid levels down

    • Iodine in conjunction with the Thioamides

Radioactive iodine therapy
Radioactive Iodine Therapy

  • It may take 2-3 months for it to work

  • Generally results in post-treatment hypothyroidism requiring replacement

  • Mr. Loney states, “You won’t be injecting any more radioactive stuff into me!”

  • You explain that the only other option is surgery if he is not responsive to the medications

**Contraindicated in pregnant women!


  • May involve total or sub-total removal of thyroid tissue or nodule

  • Done via endoscope or open procedure

  • Usually the next option after failed treatment with medications

  • Medication regimen followed to handle symptoms, reduce vascularity of tissue/tumor and to ideally have the patient in a euthyroid state (normal).

Preop teaching standard 5b health teaching and health promotion
Preop Teaching:Standard 5B: Health Teaching and Health Promotion

  • Normal post-surgical


  • May have difficulty talking

  • Complications include:

    • Respiratory problems from bleeding

    • May require emergency tracheostomy/reintubation

    • Blood draws to monitor calcium level

    • Arterial line may be used for this

    • Manual support of their head while changing positions to reduce stress on suture lines

Dietary modifications
Dietary Modifications

  • Made to help with deficiencies from hyper-metabolism

    • High protein, carbs, vitamins/minerals

    • Low in fiber, caffeine

  • There are also foods that naturally lower thyroid levels

    • broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, rutabagas, spinach, turnips, peaches, and pears

Standard 2 diagnosis
Standard 2: Diagnosis

Priority Nursing Diagnoses:

  • Activity Intolerance

  • Risk for Injury

  • Imbalanced nutrition: less than body requirements

  • Anxiety

    Carefully review the care plans in your text on pp. 1316 and complete your hand out.