What are the Symptoms of Overactive Thyroid Gland?

What are the Symptoms of Overactive Thyroid Gland?

An overactive thyroid gland, a condition known as hyperthyroidism, occurs when the thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormones. These hormones play a vital role in regulating the body’s metabolism. The symptoms of an overactive thyroid gland can vary in intensity and may include:

  • Rapid Heartbeat (Tachycardia): The heart rate increases noticeably, and individuals may experience palpitations or a pounding sensation in the chest.
  • Unexplained Weight Loss: Despite a regular or increased appetite, there is unintended weight loss due to the accelerated metabolism associated with hyperthyroidism.
  • Increased Sweating: People with an overactive thyroid often experience excessive sweating, even when the surrounding temperature is cool.
  • Nervousness and Anxiety: Restlessness, nervousness, anxiety, and irritability are common psychological symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism.
  • Tremors: Fine tremors in the hands or fingers may occur, making it difficult to hold objects steady.
  • Heat Sensitivity: Individuals may have a reduced tolerance for heat and may feel excessively warm, especially at night.
  • Fatigue and Muscle Weakness: Despite increased activity due to the heightened metabolism, muscle weakness and fatigue may be experienced.
  • Sleep Problems: Insomnia or difficulty falling and staying asleep can be a symptom of an overactive thyroid.
  • Frequent Bowel Movements: An overactive thyroid can cause increased bowel movements or diarrhea.
  • Light or Absent Menstrual Periods: Women may experience changes in their menstrual cycle, including lighter or irregular periods.
  • Enlarged Thyroid (Goiter): The thyroid gland may become visibly enlarged, causing a swelling in the neck (goiter).
  • Bulging Eyes (Exophthalmos): Some individuals with hyperthyroidism may develop protruding or bulging eyes, known as exophthalmos.
  • Thin, Brittle Hair: Hair may become thin, fine, and brittle due to the increased metabolic activity.

It’s important to recognize and seek medical attention if you suspect an overactive thyroid, as untreated hyperthyroidism can lead to serious complications such as heart problems, bone loss, and a potentially life-threatening condition called thyroid storm. A healthcare professional can perform tests to diagnose hyperthyroidism and recommend appropriate treatment, which may include medication, radioactive iodine therapy, or surgery to manage the condition and alleviate symptoms.

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