Overactive thyroid symptoms in women vary from person to person, but are all equally irritating and prevent you from functioning at your best.
Before going over the various types of overactive thyroid symptoms in women I’m going to first go over what overactive thyroid is and what could potentially cause it.
Instead of jumping right to diagnosing a condition with a checklist of symptoms, a better understanding of the condition itself can provide insight into whether or not you’re experiencing overactive thyroid.
What is Overactive Thyroid aka Hyperthyroidism
Overactive thyroid is also commonly referred to as hyperthyroidism. As the name suggest, hyperthyroidism involves the thyroid gland functioning above optimal levels.
The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that control the following functions in the body:
- Heart rate
- Nervous system
- Body temperature
- and others
Hyperthyroidism leads to the body producing an excessive amount of the thyroid hormone, which can disrupt any combination of the bodily functions listed above.
Having an excessive amount of the thyroid hormone in the body causes the above listed processes to speed up, which can lead to any number of overactive thyroid symptoms in women.
Let’s look at some of the causes of hyperthyroidism and then I’ll go over the symptoms more closely.
Causes of Overactive Thyroid / Hyperthyroidism
The thyroid gland doesn’t just start to speed up overnight — there are very specific causes of hyperthyroidism.
One of the most common causes of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease, a hereditary autoimmune disorder that’s commonly found in women.
Graves’ disease causes the body makes an antibody which causes the thyroid gland to produce an excessive amount of thyroid hormone.
Here are some other potential causes of hyperthyroidism:
- Goiter: Lumps or nodules in the thyroid gland.
- Thyroiditis: Inflammation of the thyroid gland.
- Too much iodine: From either food, supplements, or medication.
- Pregnancy: Hyperthyroidism may develop during pregnancy, or within the first year after giving birth.
If you suspect you’re afflicted with one of the causes of hyperthyroidism, the only way to know for sure is through diagnosis.
Symptoms can only tell you so much — your doctor can provide either an ultrasound or a nuclear medicine scan of your thyroid.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common overactive thyroid symptoms in women.
Overactive Thyroid Symptoms in Women
Overactive thyroid symptoms in women may include a combination of the following:
- Fatigue or muscle weakness
- Hand tremors
- Mood swings
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Rapid heartbeat
- Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
- Skin dryness
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight loss
- Increased frequency of bowel movements
- Light periods or skipping periods
Fortunately, there are some very effective treatment options available to relieve the overactive thyroid symptoms in women.
There are antithyroid medications available to treat overactive thyroid. These medicines work by interfering with the production of thyroid hormones.
Radioactive iodine therapy may also be used to treat overactive thyroid. This type of therapy works by damaging the cells that make thyroid hormones.
Very rare instances may call for surgery to remove the thyroid, but this is only considered when women do not respond to either of the above mentioned treatments.
The treatment your doctor chooses to go with will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your symptoms, your age, whether or not you are pregnant, and other medical conditions you may have.
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