5 Indicators of an Overactive Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland plays a vital role in producing hormones that regulate metabolism, among other things. Located at the base of your neck, this endocrine gland releases two main hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which are essential for the proper functioning of all cells in your body. 

However, when the thyroid gland becomes overactive, a condition known as hyperthyroidism, it produces excessive amounts of these hormones. Left untreated, hyperthyroidism can cause serious health issues. 

The team of naturopathic, functional and holistic medicine physicians at Integrative Medica in Salt Lake City, Utah, blend conventional and holistic approaches to help patients maintain optimal health and well-being. 

When your thyroid produces an abnormal amount of hormone, our team relies on proven treatments to restore gland function. In this post, we’ve put together some helpful information about the key signs of an overactive thyroid gland to watch for so that when a problem arises, you can get prompt care to return your thyroid levels to a healthy range.

The impact of an overactive thyroid

An overactive thyroid speeds up your body's metabolism. This can lead to various health problems, including:

If you recognize any of the following symptoms, it’s essential to seek an evaluation from our team as soon as possible.

Key signs of an overactive thyroid

Several signs can indicate an overactive thyroid, but here are five common signs that should prompt you to seek evaluation:

1. Unintended weight loss

Experiencing weight loss without trying, especially when you haven’t changed your exercise habits or your diet, can be a sign of an overactive thyroid. If you notice unexplained weight loss, it might be time to get your thyroid checked.

2. Swelling at the base of the neck (goiter) 

Known as a goiter, an enlarged thyroid gland is a sign that there’s an issue with the thyroid gland. A goiter can occur when the thyroid produces too much or too little hormone. The physical change is a direct effect of the thyroid being inflamed and dysregulated, and requires prompt evaluation by a health care professional.

3. Changes in bowel habits

An increase in the frequency of bowel movements could be a symptom of an overactive thyroid. If you find yourself using the bathroom more often than usual and you haven’t changed your diet, hyperthyroidism might be behind it.

4. Tremors

Tremors are involuntary shaking or movements that can vary in intensity. They often affect the hands, legs, face, head, or vocal cords. With hyperthyroidism, you might notice slight trembling in your hands and fingers.

5. Abnormal heartbeat

Both too much or too little thyroid hormone negatively affects the heart. Hyperthyroidism can cause various heart-related issues, such as rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), and heart palpitations. These symptoms can indicate that your thyroid is affecting your heart function.

Other symptoms to consider

In some cases, you may experience less noticeable symptoms, such as restlessness, trouble sleeping, anxiety, or irritability. You shouldn’t ignore these subtle signs. Our team can perform a simple thyroid blood test to check levels of key hormones. This provides a picture of what is going on with your thyroid. 

Treatments are available for hyperthyroidism

At our integrative medicine practice, we’re dedicated to providing comprehensive care to help you manage thyroid health effectively. Early detection and treatment help you avoid serious complications. We use medications and other treatments to return your thyroid levels to a normal range. 

If you have concerns or questions about your thyroid health, our team is here to help. Contact our office to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can support your well-being.

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