Signs You May Have a Hyperactive Thyroid

Signs You May Have a Hyperactive Thyroid

thyroid diagram

The thyroid gland is a part of your body that controls metabolism. A hyperactive thyroid releases more thyroid hormone than your body needs and it can cause many health problems. One of the first symptoms is weight loss without an explanation when you are still eating normally. Other symptoms include:

  • anxiety
  • a racing heartbeat
  • insomnia
  • weakness
  • tremors

One of the most common causes is Graves’ Disease, which also causes enlarged eyes. This can affect up to 2% of the female population and affects women much more frequently than men. It is an autoimmune disorder and can appear suddenly in individuals who have no previous history of thyroid problems.

If you suspect thyroid problems, it is important to see a doctor. A doctor can diagnose this problem with a simple blood test and will usually notice some of the most common physical symptoms right away, such as a rapid heartbeat, tremors and an enlarged thyroid gland. It is treatable with regular medical supervision. Treatment typically involves antithyroid hormone drugs. Your doctor may also recommend changes in lifestyle factors such as diet, as certain foods either stimulate or suppress thyroid hormone production. In severe cases, the thyroid gland may need to be partially destroyed or removed. Radioactive iodine slows the action of the thyroid gland but may cause hypothyroidism after treatment. Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid may be more easily treated with a prescription medication that replaces the body’s natural production of thyroid hormone.

If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can become quite serious, particularly for pregnant women and can even lead to death. Therefore, it is important to see a doctor right away if you suspect a hyperactive thyroid, as these symptoms could also be signs of another medical condition.