Symptoms of Overactive Thyroid

Not everyone with an overactive thyroid will have symptoms. However, there are a number of common signs and symptoms that can occur in people with this condition, including anxiety, rapid heart rate, irritability, and hand tremors. People with hyperthyroidism are also at risk of developing certain medical conditions, such as osteoporosis and congestive heart failure.

What Are Some Symptoms or Signs of an Overactive thyroid?

Thyroid hormones play a role in the normal functioning of many different parts of the body, including the skin, blood, heart and blood vessels, the nervous system, the reproductive system, and the digestive system. So when a person has an overactive thyroid, many different areas of the body can be affected.
Which areas are affected and the subsequent signs or symptoms of overactive thyroid can be quite different from person to person. In fact, some people, such as those with mild overactive thyroid or older adults, may have no symptoms or very mild ones.
One or more of the following signs and symptoms may be present in a person with overactive thyroid:
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness or irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness (in particular, the upper arms and thighs, making it difficult to lift heavy items or climb stairs)
  • Hand tremors
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Heart palpitations
  • Irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation)
  • Difficulty tolerating hot weather
  • Increased sweating
  • Weight loss despite a normal or increased appetite (some people with an overactive thyroid do gain weight due to the increased appetite)
  • Thinning hair
  • Swelling around the eyes or within the whites of the eyes (only seen in people with Graves' disease)
  • A goiter, which is an enlarged thyroid that may cause the neck to look swollen.
Other symptoms can include:

More Headlines in Symptoms of Overactive Thyroid

‣ Other Conditions
‣ Overactive Thyroid Symptoms in Older People
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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