Anatomy & Physiology Endocrine #9


Which disorder is caused by an overactive thyroid gland?


  1. Addison disease
    • Rationale:

      Addison disease is caused by adrenal insufficiency. When an individual is diagnosed with this disease process, their body produces too little aldosterone and cortisol.

  2. Hypothyroidism
    • Rationale:

      Hypothyroidism is caused by an underactive, not overactive, thyroid gland.

  3. Hyperthyroidism
    • Rationale:

      Hyperthyroidism (i.e., overactive thyroid) occurs when the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of thyroxine, one of the primary thyroid hormones. Hyperthyroidism can accelerate the body’s metabolism thereby leading to symptoms such as an irregular or abnormal heartbeat and unintentional weight loss.

  4. Cushing syndrome
    • Rationale:

      Cushing syndrome occurs when the body is exposed to high levels of a hormone called cortisol for long periods of time. This condition can be induced by medications, such as oral corticosteroids that are prescribed to treat inflammation.


The endocrine system is the collection of glands. These glands produce hormones that regulate many functions within the body.


Learning Outcomes

Specific functions that are regulated by endocrine glands include, but are not limited to, growth and development, metabolism, mood, reproduction, sexual function, sleep, and tissue function. Abnormal function of any of the endocrine glands can significantly impact body function. The medical term for an individual with an overactive thyroid gland is called hyperthyroidism.

Test Taking Tip

Consider each choice and use your knowledge of medical terminology to assist in answering this question correctly.

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