Plummer’s Disease is an uncommon condition, which affects only women. It presents as an increased appetite, edema (disease) of the lymph nodes, and increased red blood cell count. It commonly presents itself as a single, large nodule or perhaps an enlarged adenoma on your thyroid. It’s one of the more common forms of hyperthyroidism.
Diagnosis of Plummer’s Disease
Plummer’s disease often goes undiagnosed in elderly patients who have normal thyroid function but slow heart rate and increased appetite. It can be recognized by poor handwriting and unexplained redness, particularly between the shoulders, legs, and front feet, fatigue, weakness, and anhidrosis of the face. The exact cause is not known but a recent study concluded that the disease was caused by the increase in cellular oxidization and the lowered blood flow to the sweat glands. This may result in increased heat intolerance. This is known as a heat shock goiter.
The condition has a high annual incidence and is reported to be the eighth leading cause of mortality in the United States. People with hyperthyroidism are more likely to develop multinodular goiter and this condition can be life-threatening. People with Plummer’s disease can also develop bone tumors. The American Heart Association recommends that all patients with hyperthyroidism be under the care of a health care provider. Medline Mayo Clinic provides further information about multinodular goiter and summer’s disease.
Symptoms of Plummer’s Disease
Some symptoms of Hyperthyroidism include enlargement of the eyeballs, protrusion of the iris, increased sensitivity to light, decreased vision, decreased hearing acuity, decreased facial expression, and dry mouth. The disease also includes symptoms of diabetes, bone pain, decreased uric acid, osteoporosis, hypertension, decreased cholesterol, fluid retention, and kidney stones. Some patients with hyperthyroidism and summer’s disease do not have the above-mentioned symptoms. However, this could mean that the disease is under control but the body is still responsive to treatment. In such cases, patients should have their eyes tested for any possible involvement in the eye.
Symptoms of Plummer’s Disease include but are not limited to, an enlarged heart, jaundice, hypothyroidism, goiter, severe dehydration, fluid retention, and lymphadenopathy. It is also important to note that symptoms of Hyperthyroidism mimic those of some forms of cancer and, thus, should be considered a warning sign for various types of cancer. Individuals diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism or Plummer’s disease should immediately contact a physician for further testing and consideration. Routine laboratory tests and imaging studies can help in determining whether the disease is benign or malignant.