Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid gland, and its common symptoms can appear like several other conditions, so it’s easily overlooked or sometimes misdiagnosed. Keep reading so you can recognize hyperthyroidism and seek treatment.
Your thyroid gland is a small butterfly shaped gland in your neck. Your thyroid produces two main hormones, Thyroxine or T4 and Triiodothyronine or T3. These hormones control and maintain how your body uses fats and carbs, controls your body temperature, heart rate, and production of protein just to name a few.
When your thyroid is working properly, it releases the proper amount of hormones, but sometimes it releases too much T4, and sometimes too much of both hormones, causing hyperthyroidism.
This occurs more frequently in women, if you have a family history of Graves’ disease, and if you have a personal history of chronic illness like Type 1 diabetes, anemia, or primary adrenal insufficiency when your adrenal gland is damaged.
With an overactive thyroid, it’s not surprising that it will affect our metabolism and will speed up many functions. It can begin slowly, or in some it can start quite abruptly.
In the beginning many patients have lots of energy, but as hyperthyroidism continues without treatment, the body starts to break down, and fatigue becomes common.
Nervousness can be mistaken due to stress. Losing weight quickly may make those on a diet pleased with their results. These are both false flags.
Besides nervousness and weight loss, the following are additional symptoms of hyperthyroidism:
Other noticeable symptoms can include an enlarged thyroid gland known as a goiter and your eyes may have some abnormalities as with Graves’ disease. A physical exam and blood test can confirm the diagnosis.
If you notice any combination of the above symptoms, see Weirton Medical Center for a diagnosis. There are some serious complications if hyperthyroidism is left untreated.
Heart problems can develop causing atrial fibrillation, stroke, or congestive heart failure. Lack of treatment results in dry brittle bones and osteoporosis. Eye issues can develop with bulging red and swollen eyes, sensitivity to light, and double vision.
Lastly, a serious complication is thyrotoxic crisis in which certain symptoms intensify causing fever and delirium.