Hyperthyroidism Symptoms


Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. The thyroid gland, located at the base of the neck just below Adam's apple, produces hormones that control the body's metabolism.

A person with hyperthyroidism has an overactive thyroid gland, which sets off a chain reaction of symptoms. The most common symptoms include increased heart rate (tachycardia), abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), muscle weakness or tremor (tremor), insomnia, weight loss, sweating, and heat intolerance.

If you're feeling more anxious, irritable, or moody than usual, it could be a sign of hyperthyroidism.

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Other common symptoms include −

Losing weight without trying

Hyperthyroidism can cause weight loss because it increases your metabolism. This can help you lose weight if you have an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), which slows down metabolism and causes weight gain. Hyperthyroidism may also cause fatigue, which can lead to less physical activity and result in weight loss.

Hyperthyroidism can cause weakness, muscle aches, and stiffness because the thyroid gland is overproducing hormones that stimulate the muscles. In some cases, people with hyperthyroidism develop carpal tunnel syndrome − a painful compression of nerves in the wrist that causes weakness and numbness in the hand − as well as tendonitis (inflammation of tendons) in their hands or feet.

Increased appetite

Hyperthyroidism can also cause an increased appetite and thirst. You may feel like eating a lot more food than usual, or you may feel hungry even when you've just eaten. You may develop a sudden craving for salty foods like chips or pickles, or crave ice cubes and cold drinks like pop or water all the time. Your symptoms might also include−

Fatigue − feeling tired or exhausted all of the time

Heart palpitations − an uncomfortable feeling in your chest that's caused by irregular heartbeats, which can be felt as skipped beats (BPs) or fluttering in your chest.

Difficulty sleeping

This symptom can be caused by several factors, such as hyperactivity of the thyroid gland and its effects on hormone production. People with hyperthyroidism may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or they may wake up earlier than usual and have trouble going back to sleep.

Sweating more than usual

Hyperthyroidism causes an increase in metabolism that can lead to excessive sweating. This can happen at any time of day or night and often results in drenching sweat patches on clothing that are difficult to dry out completely even after repeated washings.

A rapid or irregular heartbeat

The next is that your heart may be beating too quickly. A rapid heartbeat can be caused by a number of different factors−hyperthyroidism is just one of them. Too much caffeine or nicotine, anxiety, lack of sleep, and even exercise can all cause a rapid heartbeat that isn't related to hyperthyroidism at all.

If you get regular physicals, the doctor will check for these other causes during your heart checkups−but if he finds that your heart is beating too rapidly outside of any specific situation where stress and exercise are in play, then it could mean you're experiencing the first symptom of hyperthyroidism− an overactive thyroid gland.

Feeling short of breath

The next symptom to watch out for is feeling short of breath, particularly when you're lying down. In some cases, hyperthyroidism can cause your lungs to work overtime, causing you to take deep breaths and feel like you can't get enough air. This sensation of breathing difficulty may come on suddenly and be accompanied by a cough or wheezing.

Other times, it's more gradual and a person may feel like their breathing is getting harder to control. This can be especially dangerous for people with asthma, as their breathing problems may become worse due to the extra effort required to breathe.


An overactive thyroid gland can cause your body to produce too much thyroid hormone. When this happens, your metabolism speeds up, and as a result, your heart beats faster, you breathe more quickly, and your muscles move more vigorously than normal. The body's basic processes of nutrient absorption, digestion, and waste elimination also speed up.

The nervous system is particularly affected by the hormone changes in an overactive thyroid gland. Nerves in the brain become overstimulated. This causes anxiety to occur more easily and makes it difficult to slow down once the nervousness begins. It is not uncommon for people with hyperthyroidism to experience brief periods of extreme nervousness or panic attacks that will suddenly occur for no apparent reason. These feelings can be mild or quite severe, but they are usually short-lived (lasting just a few minutes) if they do happen.


Most people with hyperthyroidism will experience mild tremors in their hands and fingers. This is also a very common symptom. It may be hard to tell whether your finger tremors are caused by hyperthyroidism or Parkinson's disease, which is a neurological disorder that also causes tremors in the hands and fingers. Parkinson's disease usually causes more severe tremors than hyperthyroidism does, so if you're experiencing mild hand tremors, it's probably due to your thyroid condition.

Muscle weakness

In more severe cases, hyperthyroidism can lead to weakness in the muscles that control eye movements, difficulty swallowing, and other problems with movement and muscular function.

3 ways to manage the symptoms

If you're experiencing a lot of muscle weakness in your hands and feet, try carrying a water bottle around with you and sip from it frequently. When your body is dehydrated, its muscles are more likely to weaken. When you make sure that your body is properly hydrated, your muscles will feel less fatigued and weaker.

Massage can help relieve the pains that result from muscle weakness caused by thyroid hyperactivity. Massage encourages blood circulation and helps you relax, which are both important for relieving pain.

Exercise is another way to reduce the symptoms of thyroid hyperactivity including muscle weakness and tenderness or pain. Exercise strengthens your muscles and improves blood flow so that they don't experience as much fatigue or pain.

Changes in bowel habits

Most people who suffer from hyperthyroidism will experience alterations in their bowel patterns, such as constipation, diarrhea, and changes in the frequency of bowel movements. This is due to the fact that the thyroid gland controls metabolic processes, one of which is digestion. When the gland is overactive, these processes may be disrupted.

Menstrual changes in women

One of the biggest problems that women with hyperthyroidism experience are menstrual changes. Menstrual cycles in women with hyperthyroidism may become irregular, shorter, or longer, and there could be an increase or decrease in the amount of bleeding or the flow could change to being very heavy. There may be spotting between periods or bleeding after intercourse. In addition, women with this disease may have more frequent or painful menstrual cycles and they often report feeling bloated just before their periods as well as during their periods.


When you're diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, the first thing your doctor will probably want to do is put you on medication to slow down your thyroid's production. The most commonly prescribed drug is called methimazole and it acts by competing with iodine for a spot in the thyroid gland− it wins out over iodine and halts the production of thyroid hormone.

The problem is that there are a lot of possible side effects of taking methimazole over the long term. It can cause bone loss and muscle aches, which can be uncomfortable, but some people also experience weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, depression, and gastrointestinal issues.

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In conclusion, hyperthyroidism is a condition that can cause a variety of symptoms, including weight loss, anxiety, and irritability. If you think you may have hyperthyroidism, it is important to see a doctor so that you can receive treatment.


1. What is hyperthyroidism?

When the thyroid gland generates an abnormally high amount of thyroid hormone, a condition known as hyperthyroidism can develop. This can result in a wide range of symptoms, some of which include decreased body weight, anxiety, irritability, and exhaustion.

2. What are the causes of hyperthyroidism?

The most common cause is Graves' disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects about 1% of women and 0.05% of men in the U.S. The immune system makes antibodies that attack the thyroid gland, causing it to overproduce hormones. Other causes include toxic adenoma, which is a benign tumor in the thyroid gland, thyroiditis, inflammation of the thyroid gland that can be caused by infection or other conditions such as pregnancy or autoimmune diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

3. What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

The symptoms of hyperthyroidism can vary depending on the underlying cause. However, common symptoms include weight loss, anxiety, irritability, and fatigue.

4. How is hyperthyroidism treated?

Treatment for hyperthyroidism typically involves medications to suppress thyroid hormone production. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary.

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022


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