Hyperthyroidism creates excess thyroid hormone. Since the thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body's metabolism, not surprisingly, the disease increases the body's normal metabolic functions. This leads to weight loss, increased appetite, a fast or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nervousness, irritability, fatigue, and muscle weakness. Graves' disease, the leading cause of hyperthyroidism, is characterized by puffy or bulging eyes, light sensitivity, double vision, and increased tears. It can also lead to thick skin that feels hard to the touch. Goiter (an enlarged thyroid gland) is another way hyperthyroidism affects the body. It can make the neck appear swollen.
- Q Can a thyroid problem cause night sweats?
- Q Are thyroid disorders common?
- Q When should I see a doctor about my thyroid?
- Q What is thyroiditis, and how does it relate to hypothyroidism?
- Q Should I get tested for thyroid dysfunction?
- Q Could my child be born without a thyroid gland?