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Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism can be defined as the condition where the overactive thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormones [tetraiodothyronine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3)] which circulate in the bloodstream. The T3 and T4 hormones play an important role in the body’s metabolism and a high level of these hormones will cause symptoms associated with high metabolism. However not everyone with hyperthyroidism would be experiencing all the symptoms of overactive thyroid since they vary from person to person.


Thyroid disease word cloudOveractive thyroid symptoms: Hyperthyroidism could simulate a host of other health hazards making it difficult for the physician to diagnose. Most of the symptoms are related with the increased rate of metabolism of the body. Hyperthyroidism speeds up some of the body’s processes and all the symptoms of hyperthyroidism are listed below:


  • People with hyperthyroidism might experience a sudden massive loss of weight even when the amount of food intake is normal or even increased.


  • Patients could suffer from tachycardia or the problem of rapid heartbeat (more than hundred beats per minute). Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat can also be a symptom of overactive thyroid.


  • Many people experience an increase in appetite while suffering from this condition.


  • Nervousness anxiety and irritability can be seen in many patients.


  • Patients experience tremor in the form of trembling fingers and hands.


  • Excessive sweating can be a common symptom.


  • Women experience changes in their menstrual pattern.


  • Heat intolerance or increased heat sensitivity.


  • Frequent bowel movement and changes in the bowel patterns can be seen in some individuals.


  • Goiter or an enlarged thyroid gland might manifest itself in the form of a swelling at the base of the neck.


  • Fatigue and weakness of muscles can be seen in some individuals.


  • Many patients have sleeping problems.


  • Brittle skin and hair are another symptom of overactive thyroid.


  • Patients can experience a decreased level of concentration.


  • Weakness in the muscles particularly in the upper arms and thighs can be noted in some cases.


People around 70 are not much likely to experience these symptoms. They might be experiencing subtle symptoms like heat sensitivity and increased heart beat and exhaustion.


An uncommon symptom known as Grave’s ophthalmology might affect the eyes of the patient especially if he or she is a smoker. The muscles and tissues behind the eyes swell up and the eyes tend to protrude out of the protective orbit. The eyeballs are pushed forward and bulge out of their orbits resulting in drying up the surface of the eye. However the problems of the eyes generally improve without treatment. Other symptoms of Graves Ophthalmology include swollen and red eyes, protruding eyeballs, discomfort in the eyes and double vision and light sensitivity.


When to consult your physician?

In case you experience excessive sweating, fast heartbeat, unexplained loss of weight, swelling at the base of the neck or just any of the above mentioned symptoms you should make sure to visit a doctor. It is important to keep a note of the changes in your body since many of the overactive thyroid symptoms could also be related with other conditions.






Anna C. RN-BC, BSN, PHN, CMSRN Anna began writing extra materials to help her BSN and LVN students with their studies. She takes the topics that the students are learning and expands on them to try to help with their understanding of the nursing process. She is a clinical instructor for LVN and BSN students along with a critical care transport nurse.

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