• Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism

    Because symptoms generally come on gradually over weeks or months, you may have hyperthyroidism for a long time before you realize it. If you are an older adult, it may be even harder to recognize that something is wrong, because your only symptoms may be weight loss and/or depression .
    There are many symptoms of hyperthyroidism. They are listed below, in general, from most frequent to less frequent.
    • Restlessness, nervousness, and irritability
    • Fatigue and weakness may follow the restlessness and nervousness
    • Heat intolerance—You may feel warmer than the people around you
    • Heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, skipped beats
    • Tachycardia—a rapid heartbeat and pulse
    • Unexplained weight loss—An increased metabolism means your body is burning calories more rapidly, thus you may lose weight even though you are eating more. However, 5%-10% of people with hyperthyroidism gain weight because they are eating more.
    • Warm, moist skin
    • Increased bowel movements—Food travels more quickly through the gastrointestinal tract.
    • Insomnia—You may have trouble sleeping in spite of the fact that you feel tired all the time.
    • Tremor—If you stretch out your fingers, you may have a fine tremor.
    • Menstrual irregularity
    • Loss of libido
    • Fine hair texture—Up to 40% of patients experience some baldness. This can last for months after the thyroid hormone level has been restored to normal
    • Bulging eyes (called exophthalmos)—This can occur in Graves’ disease .
    • Shortness of breath—This may occur when the hyperthyroidism is severe and the heart rate is rapid or there is an irregular pulse. Severe hyperthyroidism can result in heart failure.
    • Swelling in legs
    Because these symptoms vary so greatly from individual to individual, you may have one, more than one, all, or none of these symptoms. Your symptoms can be due to another medical condition.
    In individuals over age 65 years, hyperthyroidism may present with the following:
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Atrial fibrillation
    • No appetite
    • Muscle wasting
    • Depression
    • Forgetfulness

    References

    American Thyroid Association website. Available at: http://www.thyroid.org/ .

    AACE Thyroid Guidelines. Endocr Pract . 2002;8(No. 6) 469.

    Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 14th ed. McGraw-Hill; 2001.

    National Library of Medicine website. Available at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ .

    Pearce EN. Diagnosis and management of thyrotoxicosis. Brit Med J. 2006;332:1369-1373.

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.