ABBREVIATIONS & DEFINITIONS
Hyperthyroidism: a condition where the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism may be treated with antithyroid medications (methimazole, carbimazole, propylthiouracil), radioactive iodine or surgery.
Graves’ disease: the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the United States. It is caused by antibodies that attack the thyroid and turn it on.
Antithyroid drugs (ATDs): medications that block the thyroid from making thyroid hormone. Methimazole, carbimazole and propylthiouracil (PTU) are used to treat hyperthyroidism, especially when it is caused by Graves’ disease.
Triiodothyronine (T3): the active thyroid hormone. Thyroxine (T4), the major hormone produced by the thyroid gland gets converted to the active hormone T3 in various tissues in the body.
Complete blood count (CBC): test that analyzes the blood cells: red blood cells which carry oxygen, white blood cells which protect the body against infection and platelets which help with blood clotting.
Hemoglobin: the protein in red blood cells that binds oxygen to carry around to all the cells in the body. Hemoglobin levels are low with anemia.
Lymphocytes: type of white blood cells that are part of the immune system and produce antibodies to fight infection.
Neutrophils (WBCs): the most abundant type of white blood cells that fight infection by ingesting germs (micro-organisms) and releasing enzymes that kill germs.
Agranulocytosis: a marked decrease in the WBC count that causes a patient to be more likely to develop an infection. This is commonly associated with a fever and/ or a sore throat.