Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive, producing excessive amounts of the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Some symptoms include restlessness and nervousness, weight loss despite cravings, and a fast heartbeat.
Gordon Hart, PA-C, Lisa Hargis, NP, and our specialized wellness providers at Balance Hormone Center in Norman, Oklahoma, provide expert advice and treatment for hyperthyroidism. We customize your holistic treatment based on the severity of the symptoms you’re experiencing.
What is hyperthyroidism?
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ that hugs your windpipe below the larynx. Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid produces too many hormones.
The thyroid gland plays a major role in your body's metabolism, growth, and development. Your body constantly releases thyroid hormones into your bloodstream, which helps regulate many functions.
The thyroid gland produces more hormones if your body needs more energy, like when it’s cold.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism
An overactive thyroid becomes noticeable through a wide variety of symptoms. The organs and functions influenced by the thyroid hormones work at full speed when the thyroid is overactive.
It can be difficult to recognize hyperthyroidism, as the symptoms are usually nonspecific and don’t always occur together. Here are five of those symptoms.
Weight loss despite feeling very hungry
Scientists know your thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism, although the link between metabolism, weight change, and thyroid hormones is not completely understood. Your thyroid and hypothalamus (a small area of the brain) work closely to maintain weight and energy balance.
When your thyroid makes too many hormones, your metabolism accelerates. As metabolism increases, your body temperature rises and your appetite goes into overdrive, making you very hungry.
This creates an energy imbalance, causing you to burn more calories than usual, resulting in weight loss despite a large appetite.
If you’re experiencing a racing heart (palpitations), it might be the result of hyperthyroidism.
Your heart can feel like it's fluttering or skipping a beat, or it might feel as though it's beating too hard or too quickly. You might feel the fluttery sensation at the pulse points in your chest, neck, or throat. Palpitations can be a sign of thyroid hormones flooding your system.
A goiter is a visible symptom. It occurs with the irregular growth of your thyroid gland, located just below your Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland becomes enlarged if there’s irregular cell growth, causing a lump.
This can result from an underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism) thyroid. Depending on the position or size of the goiter, it can obstruct the voice box or airways.
When your body produces too much thyroid hormone, you may experience infrequent or absent periods. Too much thyroid hormone leads to increased sex hormone-binding globulin, preventing ovulation. Not ovulating can affect your fertility.
Hyperthyroidism also increases the risk of miscarriage because of excessive thyroid hormone production during pregnancy.
Besides metabolism, circulation, and growth, thyroid hormones also affect your mental well-being. Psychological signs such as anxiety, mood swings, and depression can be symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
Severe hyperthyroidism can lead to severe depression and anxiety and impair memory, concentration, and sleep.
Hyperthyroidism is a severe condition that manifests itself differently in each person. Your treatment may include beta blockers or anti-thyroid medications for an overactive thyroid, or you might benefit from in-office IV therapy sessions.
Our committed experts at Hormone Balance Center help improve your quality of life through personalized care and natural treatments. If you’re experiencing signs of hyperthyroidism, contact us today by requesting an appointment online or calling our clinic directly.