If you feel revved up for no apparent reason or notice other changes in your health, such as a pounding heart or menstrual changes, you may be experiencing signs of an overactive thyroid.
Also called hyperthyroidism, this condition happens when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Thyroxine plays important roles in numerous body functions, including your digestion, brain development, metabolism, and the function of your muscles, including your heart. And while sufficient amounts are necessary for your overall health and well-being, too much thyroxine can wreak havoc on both.
Dr. Javier Sosa and his team at Woodlands Primary Healthcare provide hormone testing, diagnostics, and treatment for thyroid conditions for residents of The Woodlands, Texas. Read on to learn about common symptoms of an overactive thyroid.
A few conditions can cause your thyroid gland to produce too many hormones, including the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease. This disease is the leading cause of hyperthyroidism and most commonly affects women under age 40.
You can also develop an overactive thyroid because of lumps known as thyroid nodules or from thyroiditis, an infection or immune system issue that makes your thyroid gland leak and swell. Hyperthyroidism may also occur due to consuming too much iodine from supplements or from taking more thyroid hormone medication than you need.
Overactive thyroid symptoms
Hyperthyroidism can cause a range of symptoms that vary in intensity and affect people differently. Most people find that more than one body function is impacted since thyroid hormones impact so many systems. Potential signs of an overactive thyroid include:
- Anxiety or nervousness
- A goiter, or enlarged thyroid gland
- Brittle nails
- Dry eyes
- Heart racing or palpitations
- Fatigue and weakness
- Increased appetite
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Light sensitivity
- Menstrual cycle changes
- More frequent bowel movements
- Protruding eyeballs
- Sensitivity to heat
- Sleeping problems
- Thinning skin
- Tremors, especially in your hands and fingers
- Unintentional weight loss, even without eating less
While hyperthyroidism can become serious if it goes unaddressed, it is a treatable condition. Once Dr. Sosa conducts an exam and performs a hormone test that confirms high levels of thyroxine, he may recommend a medication, such as an anti-thyroid drug or beta-blockers.
Anti-thyroid medications help by lowering your production of thyroxine, and beta-blockers can help minimize symptoms related to hyperthyroidism, such as anxiety and a rapid heartbeat. If medications aren’t an option, you might benefit from a surgery to remove your thyroid gland, called a thyroidectomy.
If you suspect you may be dealing with signs of an overactive thyroid, call Woodlands Primary Healthcare or request an appointment with Dr. Sosa on our website. We would love to help you get on the path toward feeling better and improved health.