How does hyperthyroidism affect the body?

Hyperthyroidism affects the body in many ways, causing a variety of symptoms, such as:
  • higher metabolism, leading to weight loss and increased appetite
  • increased heart rate, leading to the development of nervousness, anxiety or irritability
  • fatigue
  • muscle weakness
  • intolerance to heat
  • diarrhea
  • heavier menstrual periods
  • sweating

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.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.