My Body Just Doesn’t Feel Right

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You’re not sleeping well. You feel anxious and irritable. Your heart seems to be beating faster than normal, almost pounding out of your chest. Maybe you’re just overwhelmed. Or maybe, your thyroid gland is wreaking havoc on your body. 

You may have hyperthyroidism — also known as overactive thyroid — a disease of the thyroid, which is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck just below your Adam’s apple. 

When the thyroid gland works properly, it produces the right amount of the hormone thyroxine, which travels in your blood to all parts of your body and impacts your metabolism and hormone balance. When your thyroid makes more thyroxine than your body needs, it speeds up many of your body’s functions, such as metabolism and heart rate. 

“Hyperthyroidism means your body’s going to be running faster,” explains Anessa Alappatt, MD, Fairborn Medical Center.

Click play to watch the video or read video transcript.

The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Grave’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that overstimulates the thyroid gland. Women are more likely than men to have thyroid diseases. One in eight women will develop thyroid problems during her lifetime. 

What are Signs and Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism?

Symptoms can develop slowly. You may not even notice them at first. But over time, your faster metabolism can cause symptoms such as:  

  • Weight loss, even if you eat the same or more food  
  • Eating more than usual 
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat or pounding of your heart 
  • Feeling nervous or anxious 
  • Feeling irritable 
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Trembling in your hands and fingers 
  • Increased sweating 
  • Feeling hot when others don’t 
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Diarrhea or more bowel movements than normal 
  • Fewer and lighter menstrual periods than normal 
  • Thinning of the skin 
  • Fine, brittle hair 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Fatigue 
  • Larger than normal thyroid gland 
  • Changes in your eyes that can include bulging of the eyes, redness or irritation 

Identifying whether you have thyroid disease can be difficult. The symptoms resemble those of many other health problems. If you’re struggling with an overall sense of “just not feeling right,” talk to your doctor. She’ll review your medical and family history, plus order a blood test and potentially a thyroid ultrasound for diagnosis.

Are You at Risk for Hyperthyroidism?

You may be more likely to have hyperthyroidism if you: 

  • Are a woman 
  • Are older than 60 
  • Have had thyroid problems in the past 
  • Have a family history of thyroid problems 
  • Have certain conditions, such as type 1 diabetes 
  • Consume too much iodine  
  • Are pregnant or have had a baby in the last 6 months 

How is Hyperthyroidism Treated?My Body Just Doesn't Feel Right - Small

Hyperthyroidism treatment focuses on reducing the amount of thyroid hormone your body produces. Treatment ranges from anti-thyroid medicine and radioactive iodine ablation (taken orally) to surgery. Beta-blockers, used to control heart rhythm, also may be part of treatment to help reduce symptoms.  

Hypothyroidism can be a side effect of treatment since in many cases, treatment purposefully causes the thyroid gland to stop making thyroid hormone.  

Hyperthyroidism can affect or develop into other health issues if left untreated: 

  • Pregnancy problems (problems becoming pregnant, during pregnancy or postpartum) 
  • Heart problems
  • Thyroid crisis – worsening symptoms caused by stress or illness 
  • Osteoporosis – a condition that causes weak, brittle bones 

Diagnosis and treatment are important for your good health.

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Answer a few questions and we'll provide you with a list of primary care providers that best fit your needs.

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