What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism due to any cause is suggested by several signs and symptoms; however, patients with mild disease usually experience no symptoms. In patients older than 70 years, the typical signs and symptoms also may be absent. In general, the symptoms become more obvious as the degree of hyperthyroidism increases. The symptoms usually are related to an increase in the metabolic rate of the body.
Common symptoms include:
- Excessive sweating
- Heat intolerance
- Increased bowel movements
- Tremor (usually fine shaking)
- Nervousness, agitation, anxiety
- Rapid heart rate, palpitations, irregular heart rate
- Weight loss
- Fatigue, weakness
- Decreased concentration
- Irregular and scant menstrual flow
- Fine or brittle hair
- Thinning skin
- Sleep disturbances
In older patients, irregular heart rhythms and heart failure can occur. In its most severe form, untreated hyperthyroidism may result in "thyroid storm," a condition involving high blood pressure, fever, and heart failure. Mental changes, such as confusion and delirium, also may result.