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Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland)

Signs and symptoms
Hyperthyroidism can mimic other health problems, which may make it difficult for your doctor to diagnose. It can also cause a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including:

  • Sudden weight loss, even when your appetite and food intake remain normal or increase
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) ? commonly more than 100 beats a minute ? irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or pounding of your heart (palpitations)
  • Nervousness, anxiety or anxiety attacks, irritability
  • Tremor ? usually a fine trembling in your hands and fingers
  • Sweating
  • Changes in menstrual patterns
  • Increased sensitivity to heat
  • Changes in bowel patterns, especially more frequent bowel movements
  • An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), which may appear as a swelling at the base of your neck
  • Fatigue, muscle weakness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Older adults are more likely to have either no symptoms or subtle ones, such as an increased heart rate, heat intolerance and a tendency to become tired during ordinary activities. Medications called beta blockers, which are used to treat high blood pressure and other conditions, can mask many of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
Graves' ophthalmopathy
Sometimes an uncommon problem called Graves' ophthalmopathy may affect your eyes. In this disorder, your eyeballs protrude beyond their normal protective orbit when tissues and muscles behind your eyes swell, pushing the eyeballs forward so far that they actually bulge out of your orbits. This can cause the front surface of your eyeballs to become very dry. Other signs and symptoms of Graves' ophthalmopathy include:

  • Red or swollen eyes
  • Excessive tearing or discomfort in one or both eyes
  • Light sensitivity, blurry or double vision, inflammation, or reduced eye movement
 

David Baxter

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Re: Over Active Thyroid Mimics Other Health Problems

The opposite problem, hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid, is alsoa significant one and can mimic many of the symptoms of major depression.

In some individuals, a dysfunctional thyroid will cycle between hypo- and hyperthyroidism and can mimic the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Thyroid function is easily checked with 2 or 3 standard blood tests. It should really be a routine part of any medical checkup.
 

lallieth

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I thought that thyroid problems were uncommon?In the list Steve mentioned,I have 6 of those symptoms,but just attribute them to anxiety
 

David Baxter

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I thought that thyroid problems were uncommon?

Not at all. They're more common than many people realize. They're also easily treatable, which is another reason for including the standard blood tests in routine annual check-ups.

In the list Steve mentioned,I have 6 of those symptoms,but just attribute them to anxiety

In your case, they are anxiety. That doesn't mean that hyperthyroidism couldn't aggravate the anxiety symptoms, however.
 

braveheart

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I also have most of those symptoms, Lallieth, but my thyroid function blood tests always come back normal. For me it's down to anxiety and depression from life factors.
 

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