How to Recognize Signs of an Overactive Thyroid

The thyroid gland is located in your neck and regulates the body's metabolism. The thyroid is also responsible for producing hormones and maintaining your energy levels. An overactive thyroid, also referred to as hyperthyroidism, produces too many hormones and sends your body into overdrive. If your thyroid is overactive, it may cause sudden weight loss, a rapid heartbeat, warm or burning sensations and anxiety. Symptoms of an overactive thyroid increase in severity as the condition worsens, and initial symptoms may be hard to identify without a blood test.

Things You'll Need

  • Mirror

Instructions

    • 1

      Keep an eye on your normal weight and any changes you experience. An overactive thyroid can send the metabolism into overdrive, which causes rapid, unexplained weight loss.

    • 2

      Be mindful of your heart patterns and take note of any differences in rhythm or pace. If your thyroid is overactive, your heart rate may increase to more than 100 beats per minute or become irregular. Another sign of an overactive thyroid is heart palpitations.

    • 3

      Check your hands, arms or other areas of your body for unexplained shaking. Hold out your hand and see if you are able to keep it steady. Overactive thyroids can cause tremors that usually affect the fingers or hands.

    • 4

      Look at your neck in a mirror and check for an enlarged or swollen area. An overactive thyroid tends to swell and can cause a goiter to bulge out from the bottom of your neck.

    • 5

      Check your hands, forehead or underarms for sweat while you are at rest. Also, pay attention to how warm your body feels in normal temperature. Overactive thyroids can cause profuse and unexplained sweating or feelings of warmth.

    • 6

      Make note of any changes in your attitude or mental health. An overactive thyroid can cause anxiety, panic attacks, nervousness and irritability. Remember that other genetic or environmental factors can also cause such changes.

    • 7

      Keep track of how often you use the bathroom for bowel movements. An overactive thyroid can change your regular patterns and increase the frequency of your movements.

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