It is difficult to tell when you may have an overactive thyroid gland, especially if you are older and the symptoms are subtle or common in the elderly. Hyperthyroid symptoms in anyone can be subtle, unnoticeable and even seem like other disorders and health issues, according to the Mayo Clinic. A qualified physician will be crucial in determining if your symptoms are in fact hyperthyroidism symptoms.
Symptoms of an overactive thyroid can vary widely. There are several general symptoms to watch out for. These typical hyperthyroid symptoms include:
- Sweating. If suddenly you break out into sweats and this is new to you, it can indicate an overactive thyroid.
- Nervousness, anxiety and irritability. It is normal to feel these feelings occasionally, and even all at once. If the level and duration of the anxiousness lasts too long and is too strong, you should see a doctor to rule out hyperthyroidism.
- Rapid heartbeat. Tachycardia (or rapid heartbeat) is a scary symptom. Suddenly there is a fluttering feeling in your chest that is not normal. More than 100 beats a minute is considered rapid heartbeat. Heart palpitations feel like a sudden pounding in your chest. This condition is also a symptom of hyperthyroidism.
- Increased appetite. A shift in hunger levels and sudden desire to eat more than usual may indicate an overactive thyroid.
- Sudden, unexplained weight loss. If you’ve lost weight that was not due to dieting or something you can explain, you may be facing a hyperthyroid condition.
- Menstrual changes. Any altering of your typical menstrual pattern may indicate an overactive thyroid.
- Heat intolerance. If you cannot take heat and need to cool off more than usual, you may be experiencing a hyperthyroid symptom.
- Bowel changes. You know your normal bowel habits. If your pattern changes and gets more frequent than typical, this could mean an excess of thyroid hormone.
- Goiter development. An enlarged thyroid gland that appears as a swelling in your neck is symptomatic of hyperthyroidism.
- Fatigue and weak muscles. The feeling of being tired for no reason and having a weak overall feeling are indications of many heath issues, including hyperthyroidism.
- Insomnia. Difficulty sleeping may not be a bout of insomnia that will go away; it is also an indication of hyperthyroidism.