Hyperthyroidism Symptoms and Signs
Several signs and symptoms can indicate an overactive thyroid. However, these signs and symptoms do not occur in everyone with hyperthyroidism, and they can also mimic the symptoms of other conditions, such as depression. Some of the most common signs of this thyroid condition include nervousness, anxiety, muscle weakness, and mood swings.
What Are Some Signs and Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism?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 hyperthyroidism signs and symptoms can be quite different from person to person. In fact, some people, such as those with mild hyperthyroidism or older adults, may have no symptoms or very mild symptoms.
One or more of the following signs or symptoms may be present in a person with hyperthyroidism:
- Mood swings
- Nervousness or irritability
- 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)
- An intolerance for hot weather
- Increased sweating
- Weight loss despite a normal or increased appetite, although some people with an overactive thyroid do gain weight due to the increase in 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:
- Trouble sleeping
- Frequent bowel movements
- An overactive bladder
- Lighter or no menstrual flow
- Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
- Enlarged or tender breasts in men (gynecomastia)
- Shortness of breath
- Decreased ability to exercise.