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Dr Renee talks about symptoms of hypothyroidism

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An overactive thyroid describes a condition called hyperthyroidism which causes the thyroid gland to produce excess hormones. Symptoms of this condition are often a result of the body’s metabolism increasing, causing everything from weight loss to severe mood swings. Generic symptoms can often be confused with other, less serious illnesses – these are the signs to look for to spot the difference.

Though the thyroid is only a small gland in the neck, the effect of excess hormone production on the rest of the body can cause serious problems which may need treatment.

An overactive thyroid can affect anyone, but the NHS says it is 10 times more common in women than it is in men.

At first, symptoms of hyperthyroidism may be vague and easy to ignore but the dangers of leaving this condition untreated can sometimes be fatal.

There are a wide range of common symptoms associated with an overactive thyroid, but it is the way in which these symptoms occur which is the most crucial thing to look out for.

Though the thyroid is only a small gland in the neck, the effect of excess hormone production on the rest of the body can cause serious problems which may need treatment.
An overactive thyroid can affect anyone, but the NHS says it is 10 times more common in women than it is in men.
At first, avodart reviews hair loss symptoms of hyperthyroidism may be vague and easy to ignore but the dangers of leaving this condition untreated can sometimes be fatal.
There are a wide range of common symptoms associated with an overactive thyroid, but it is the way in which these symptoms occur which is the most crucial thing to look out for.

Common symptoms of an overactive thyroid

As well as triggering a number of emotional and internal reactions, an overactive thyroid can also present itself physically in a number of ways and on many different parts of the body.

Symptoms can be subtle and even go unnoticed for a number of weeks, though for some people they can come on more suddenly and feel more severe.

It is important to track symptoms in order to link them back to specific triggers which can help determine whether they are thyroid-related.

According to the NHS, an overactive thyroid can cause the following 10 physical signs:

  1. Swelling in the neck caused by an enlarged thyroid gland
  2. Irregular or unusually fast heart rate
  3. Twitching and trembling
  4. Warm skin/ excessive sweating
  5. Red palms of the hands
  6. Loose nails
  7. A raised itchy rash – hives
  8. Patchy hair loss – thinning of the hair
  9. Visible weight loss
  10. Eye problems – redness, dryness and vision problems

Common symptoms of an overactive thyroid

As well as triggering a number of emotional and internal reactions, an overactive thyroid can also present itself physically in a number of ways and on many different parts of the body.

Symptoms can be subtle and even go unnoticed for a number of weeks, though for some people they can come on more suddenly and feel more severe.

It is important to track symptoms in order to link them back to specific triggers which can help determine whether they are thyroid-related.

According to the NHS, an overactive thyroid can cause the following 10 physical signs:

Swelling in the neck caused by an enlarged thyroid gland
Irregular or unusually fast heart rate
Twitching and trembling
Warm skin/ excessive sweating
Red palms of the hands
Loose nails
A raised itchy rash – hives
Patchy hair loss – thinning of the hair
Visible weight loss
Eye problems – redness, dryness and vision problems

Additionally, as per the NHS website, symptoms of an overactive thyroid can include:

  • nervousness, anxiety and irritability
  • hyperactivity – you may find it hard to stay still and have a lot of nervous energy
  • mood swings
  • difficulty sleeping
  • feeling tired all the time
  • sensitivity to heat
  • muscle weakness
  • diarrhoea
  • needing to pee more often than usual
  • persistent thirst
  • itchiness
  • loss of interest in sex

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The British Thyroid Foundation (BTF) also recognises a number of symptoms that have been frequently linked to someone experiencing an overactive gland.

According to the BTF, symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • weight loss, despite an increased appetite, although a few patients may gain weight
  • palpitations/rapid pulse
  • sweating and heat intolerance
  • tiredness and weak muscles
  • nervousness and irritability
  • shakiness
  • mood swings or aggressive behaviour
  • looseness of the bowels and occasionally nausea
  • warm, moist hands
  • thirst
  • passing larger than usual amounts of urine
  • itchiness
  • enlarged thyroid gland
  • thyroid eye disease

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Eye problems and hyperthyroidism

Issues with your eyesight or eye health can be a key sign of untreated hyperthyroidism.

Grave’s disease affects one in three people and is the most common type of overactive thyroid conditions.

Key signs of this concerning disease include dry, gritty eyes and a sensitivity to light.

Watering eyes, blurred vision, swollen eyelids and bulging eyes are all known to indicate this treatable condition too.

While many cases are mild and do get better, the NHS reports that for every one in 20 to 30 cases, there is a risk of vision loss.

When to seek medical help

Awareness of the key signs of this condition can be crucial to help you seek the right treatment as soon as possible.

You should talk to your GP if you are experiencing any of these common symptoms in order to rule out the possibility of suffering from hyperthyroidism.

A simple blood test can be carried out by your GP to check your thyroid hormone levels which asses three key areas:

  • The level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) being produced by the pituitary gland (in the brain)
  • Triidothyronine (T3) levels – one of the main thyroid hormones
  • Levels of thyroxine (T4) – another of the main thyroid hormones

Normal levels will depend on your age and the testing technique and further scans may be required to offer more accurate results of a diagnosis.

Anyone concerned about their health should discuss their symptoms with a doctor.

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