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.
What is Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)?
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:
Rapid heart beat (tachycardia)
Irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) and/or palpitations
Frequent bowel movements or loose stools
Swelling at the base of the neck (goitre)
Moist skin and increased perspiration
Shakiness and tremor
Fatigue, muscle weakness
Constant stare (infrequent blinking, lid retraction and lid lag)
Sensitivity to light
Thinning of skin
Changes in menstrual patterns
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
Thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid
Tumors of the ovaries or testes
Benign tumors of the thyroid or pituitary gland
Large amounts of tetraiodothyronine taken through dietary supplements or medication
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