If you have an overactive thyroid gland, a condition referred to as hyperthyroidism, you may notice a range of different symptoms related to your metabolism being too fast. The symptoms can get worse over time and, in fact, some of the conditions associated with hyperthyroidism can become very serious if left untreated.
If you suspect you have this condition and you visit a GP, they will take blood tests and they may order additional types of testing, such as a thyroid ultrasound scan, to see whether there are problems with your thyroid gland.
Before you get to that stage, however, it is likely that you are going to experience some of the common symptoms of hyperthyroidism and they can be very disruptive to your life.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism
The symptoms of hyperthyroidism are, in some cases, similar to the types of symptoms you would expect to see in someone with hyperactivity. They can also be broader and all of them, even if they are not symptoms of hyperthyroidism in your particular case, can be the symptoms of other serious disorders and need investigating.
Here are some of the symptoms to watch out for:
- Heart palpitations or irregularities in your heartbeat
- Tachycardia, and elevated heartbeat
- Tremors, particularly in the hands
- General anxiety
- Frequent bowel movements
- Excessive dryness of the skin
Whether or not you suspect that you have a serious medical issue, any irregularities in your heart function need to be investigated by a medical professional immediately. If you have not talked to a physician before about such a condition, tachycardia, heart palpitations and irregularities in your heartbeat are all potentially symptoms of medical conditions and you must go to seek care as soon as you notice them.
The other symptoms listed can also be symptoms of serious disorders and need to be investigated, as well. Tremors are particularly bothersome and should be investigated by your local doctor.
One of the symptoms you will also want to watch out for is called goitre. Goitre is a term used to describe an enlarged thyroid gland. You will identify this as swelling in the front of your neck. In some cases, may be severe enough to be visible.
After your GP diagnoses you with an overactive thyroid, they will generally prescribe a medication called an anti-thyroid medicine. They may also recommend that you see a thyroid specialist or endocrinologist.
In some cases, hyperthyroidism may result from a serious condition like Graves’ disease. In other cases, however, the condition may actually be temporary and the exact nature of your situation will dictate which treatment options the GP decides upon and how treatment unfolds for you.
It is important to get any of these symptoms investigated by a GP. While some of them may be related to simple lifestyle issues such as not getting enough exercise or eating improperly, there is a chance that some of these conditions could emanate from a hyperactive thyroid or from another serious condition. You should always let a GP look at you to make sure that you are not at risk of a major medical emergency.
If you are concerned that your thyroid is overactive, contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a thyroid surgeon.