Excessive production of thyroid hormones leads to a condition called hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland regulates the metabolic rate and controls the development of all cells of the human body. Elevated thyroid levels boost the rate of metabolism and accelerate various bodily systems. Hyperthyroidism develops slowly and in the initial stage it may not exhibit any symptoms. Sometimes, the symptoms are misinterpreted or ignored. One usually understands the seriousness of the symptoms when the condition leads to certain other health problems. Knowing the symptoms of hyperactive thyroid may help avoid worsening of the condition.
The antibodies in the blood stimulate the thyroid to grow and the enlarged thyroid secretes too much of thyroid hormone. This condition is also known as Graves disease, wherein protrusion of the eyeballs is noticed along with other symptoms. This type of hyperthyroidism tends to run in families, especially in women. The most common cause of hyperactive thyroid in children is Graves disease. In another type of situation, which is known as toxic nodular or multi-nodular goiter, one or more nodules or lumps in the thyroid gradually grow and their increased activity leads to the increased output of thyroid hormone. Sometimes, hyperactive thyroid symptoms are noticed temporarily, when the gland releases more hormones due to some kind of viral infection. A disorder in the immune system can result in the viral infection which can in turn affect the function of the thyroid gland. Such situation is known as thyroiditis. Too much of thyroid hormone intake through tablets can also cause thyroiditis.
The symptoms of an overactive thyroid gland can vary from person to person. The symptoms can be different in different age groups. Here is an overview of the symptoms.
- Osteoporosis (low bone density)
- Low cholesterol
- Brittle nails
- Low blood pressure
- Thinning of skin
- Nausea and increased irritability
- Periodic Paralysis
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Eyelid retraction
- Bulging eye or eyes
- Eye pain, double vision
- Hair-loss, fine brittle hair
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Hand and/or finger tremors
- Reduced menstrual flow
- Menstruation occurring less often
- Heat intolerance and Excessive thirst
- Palpitation and Shortness of breath
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Impaired fertility and loss of libido
- Painless red lumps usually on the skin
- Frequent bowel movement or diarrhea
- Excessive sweating and warm moist hands
- Swelling of the front side of the neck (goiter)
- Lack of concentration and memory loss
- Hyperactivity, children tend to be clumsy and drop things
- Height of the children may be greater than normal, for their age
- Fatigue, muscular weakness, especially in upper arms and thighs
- Major weight loss, accompanied by a paradoxical increase in appetite
If the symptoms of hyperthyroidism are neglected, the situation can lead to a number of heart diseases. Thyroid problem can result in atrial fibrillation and heart failure. Besides this, brittle bones and a number of eye problems, like sensitivity to light and/or double vision, fever and delirium are just some of the complications that set in with an overactive thyroid gland.
Hyperactive Thyroid Diet
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism are usually noticed in people belonging to the age group of 20-40. Thyroid is the master gland of metabolism and it is easy to understand how the health of the person would be affected seriously if it starts producing the hormones in excess. Some foods like broccoli, kale, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, mustard, soy, wintergreen, walnuts and turnips inhibit the effect of thyroid hormone on the body. Peaches and pears can suppress the over functioning of thyroid. Consumption of green vegetables, proteins, limited carbohydrates and regular and proper exercises can help reduce the overflow of thyroid in the body. Other foods which can stabilize the overactive thyroid include herbs like motherwort, turmeric and bugleweed. A diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C and calcium is also recommended by some nutrition experts. A diet that is low in carbohydrates, fiber, and iodine can help alleviate many of the hyperactive thyroid symptoms. Limiting the consumption of nicotine, alcohol and caffeine (found in tea, coffee, colas and plain chocolate) which cause high metabolic rate, helps lower the symptoms of excessive production of thyroid hormones.
If you think that the symptoms that you have noticed are similar to the symptoms of an overactive thyroid, then you should immediately consult your physician. He may suggest a proper diet that would help control the thyroid flow. The treatment may include hormone therapy and may vary from person to person, depending upon the age, overall health and severity/type of the symptoms experienced by the person.