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Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
- 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
- Congestive heart failure
- Atrial fibrillation
- No appetite
- Muscle wasting
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.
- Reviewer: Kim Carmichael, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013
- Update Date: 01/13/2014