Hyperthyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Your thyroid gland is located at the front of your neck. Thyroid hormones regulate your body metabolism. Metabolism refers to all of the chemical processes that take place in your body. This includes the production of energy and hormones, tissue growth, elimination of waste products, and the distribution of nutrients in the blood. Hyperthyroidism can affect all of your body functions. It causes the body’s normal rate of functioning to speed up. This can result in physical, behavioral, and emotional changes. Untreated hyperthyroidism can lead to serious medical problems. Hyperthyroidism cannot be prevented, but it is generally treatable and rarely fatal. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism differ from person to person. The symptoms you have may depend on how much thyroid hormone your thyroid gland is producing, how long you have had the condition, and your age. Hyperthyroidism can affect your behavior, emotions, and physical health. The purpose of treatment is to return your metabolism back to normal and to alleviate your symptoms. The treatment that you receive depends on the cause of your condition and the severity of your symptoms. People with subclinical hyperthyroidism may be treated to avoid the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is usually treated with antithyroid medications, radioactive iodine, or surgical removal of the thyroid gland. Radioactive iodine treatments destroy the thyroid gland and stop the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroidectomy is a surgery used to remove part or all of the thyroid gland through an incision on the front of the neck. People that receive radioactive iodine treatments or have their thyroid gland removed need to take thyroid hormones for the rest of their lives.