Overview

What is Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)?

Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormone (T4, T3 or both), resulting in acceleration of the body’s metabolic rate causing unintentional weight loss and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Symptoms

What are the signs of Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)?

The signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism may vary from person to person. The severity of the condition also affects which signs and symptoms appear and when. The most common signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

hyperthyroidism

hyperthyroidism

Rapid heart beat (tachycardia)

Rapid heart beat (tachycardia)

Irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) and/or palpitations

Irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) and/or palpitations

Hypertension

Hypertension

Frequent bowel movements or loose stools

Frequent bowel movements or loose stools

Swelling at the base of the neck (goitre)

Swelling at the base of the neck (goitre)

Moist skin and increased perspiration

Moist skin and increased perspiration

Shakiness and tremor

Shakiness and tremor

Nervousness

Nervousness

Confusion

Confusion

 Increased appetite

Increased appetite

Difficulty sleeping

Difficulty sleeping

Fatigue, muscle weakness

Fatigue, muscle weakness

Constant stare (infrequent blinking, lid retraction and lid lag)

Constant stare (infrequent blinking, lid retraction and lid lag)

Sensitivity to light

Sensitivity to light

Thinning of skin

Thinning of skin

Changes in menstrual patterns

Changes in menstrual patterns

Causes

What are the causes of Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)?

Hyperthyroidism can be caused by a number of conditions, including Graves' disease (autoimmune condition), Plummer's disease and thyroiditis. Other causes of hyperthyroidism include:

Excess iodine intake

Excess iodine intake

Thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid

Thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid

Tumors of the ovaries or testes

Tumors of the ovaries or testes

Benign tumors of the thyroid or pituitary gland

Benign tumors of the thyroid or pituitary gland

Large amounts of tetraiodothyronine taken through dietary supplements or medication

Large amounts of tetraiodothyronine taken through dietary supplements or medication

Diagnosis

How do I know if I have Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)?

To diagnose hypothyroidism, your doctor may assess your symptoms and perform a physical examination assessing weight loss, rapid pulse, elevated blood pressure, protruding eyes and enlarged thyroid gland. Your doctor may also refer for any of the following tests:

Thyroid Function Tests

Thyroid Function Tests

Ultrasound

Ultrasound

Find a Practitioner

See a list of practitioners who specialise in treating Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)