Hyperthyroidism means your
thyroid makes too much thyroid hormone. Your thyroid
is a gland in the front of your neck . It controls your
metabolism, which is how your body turns food into
energy. It also affects your heart, muscles, bones, and
Having too much thyroid
hormone can make a lot of things in your body speed up. You may lose weight
quickly, have a fast heartbeat, sweat a lot, or feel nervous and moody. Or you
may have no symptoms at all. While your doctor is doing a test for another reason, he or she may discover that you have
Hyperthyroidism is easily treated. With treatment, you can lead a healthy
life. Without treatment, hyperthyroidism can lead to serious heart problems,
bone problems, and a dangerous condition called thyroid storm.
Graves' disease causes most hyperthyroidism. In
Graves' disease, the body's natural defense (immune) system attacks the thyroid
gland. The thyroid reacts by making too much thyroid hormone. Like many
thyroid problems, it often runs in families.
hyperthyroidism is caused by a swollen thyroid or small growths in the thyroid
This topic focuses on
hyperthyroidism caused by Graves' disease.
You may have no symptoms at all.
- You may feel nervous, moody, weak, or
- Your hands may shake, your heart may beat fast, or you may
have problems breathing.
- You may be hot and sweaty or have warm, red, itchy
- You may have more bowel movements than usual.
may have fine, soft hair that is falling out.
- You may lose weight
even though you eat the same or more than usual.
If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor.
Without treatment, hyperthyroidism can lead to heart problems, bone problems,
and a dangerous condition called thyroid storm.
will ask you about your symptoms and do a physical exam. Then he or she will
order blood tests to see how much thyroid hormone your body is making.
Sometimes hyperthyroidism is found while you are having a test for
another reason. You may be surprised to find out that you have this