You May Be Hyperthyroid If…

by Mary Shomon Patient Advocate

You may be hyperthyroid if you’re experiencing some of the common — and lesser-known — signs and symptoms of an overactive thyroid. Learn about these signs and symptoms now.

can't sleep

You are having insomnia and sleep problems

Hyperthyroidism can cause insomnia and sleep problems. You may find it hard to fall or stay asleep, or you may wake up frequently or earlier than you planned. You may also find that the lack of sleep leaves you feeling especially fatigued. If you’re having insomnia or sleep problems, you may be hyperthyroid.

getting thinner

You are losing weight, or can’t gain weight

Hyperthyroidism can cause weight loss, even without a change to your diet or exercise. An overactive thyroid can also make it difficult to gain weight, even after you have increased calories and/or reduced your amount of exercise. If you’re losing weight inexplicably, or unable to gain weight, you may be hyperthyroid.

stressed and depressed

You are anxious, having panic attacks, depressed, or moody

Hyperthyroidism can cause significant mood changes, including anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and nervousness. If you’re feeling anxious, panicky, or depressed, or if you’re easily startled, you may be hyperthyroid.

blood pressure check

You have a high pulse rate, high blood pressure, or palpitations

Hyperthyroidism is linked to a variety of heart-related symptoms, such as a racing heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and atrial fibrillation. If you have an unusually high pulse rate, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, or atrial fibrillation, you may be hyperthyroid.

writing cholesterol

You have unusually low cholesterol levels

Hyperthyroidism is associated with unusually low cholesterol levels. You may notice that you have low cholesterol levels even with an unhealthy diet or a lack of exercise. If tests show that you have unusually low cholesterol levels, you may be hyperthyroid.

E.D. issues

You have sexual dysfunction

Hyperthyroidism is associated with sexual dysfunction, including abnormal increases or decreases in sex drive in both men and women, and premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction in men. If you show these signs of sexual dysfunction, you may be hyperthyroid.

woman looking at calendar

You are having menstrual irregularities

Hyperthyroidism is linked to a number of menstrual irregularities, including lighter menstrual periods, periods that come less frequently and are shorter than normal, and a complete lack of menstrual periods. If you’re experiencing menstrual problems , you may be hyperthyroid.

anxiety after birth

You are experiencing anxiety or rapid weight loss after pregnancy

Rapid weight loss, anxiety, and insomnia after childbirth are associated with hyperthyroidism. If you’ve just had a baby and are losing lots of weight more quickly than usual, or if you’re feeling unusually anxious, you may be in the hyperthyroid phase of postpartum thyroiditis.

stomach pain

You have loose stools, diarrhea, or chronic diarrhea

Loose stools, periodic diarrhea, and chronic diarrhea are all associated with hyperthyroidism. Chronic diarrhea is defined as loose stools three or more times per day, lasting at least four weeks. If you’re experiencing chronic diarrhea, and it’s not responding to prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies, or changes to your diet, then you may be hyperthyroid.

hot in cool office

You are sensitive to hot temperatures

Heat sensitivity is linked to hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can make you feel acutely sensitive to and intolerant of hot temperatures. You may also find yourself sweating more than usual. If you feel hot when everyone else feels warm, or if you’re wearing short sleeves when everyone else needs a coat, you may be hyperthyroid.

arm pain

You have pain, aches, or weakness in your arms and legs

Hyperthyroidism is linked to pain and weakness in the extremities, especially in the upper arms and in the legs. If you find it hard to raise things like a hair brush, or if you have weakness in your legs that makes it hard to climb stairs, then you may be hyperthyroid.

examining face in mirror

You have a rash on your face or shins

Hyperthyroidism is linked to several types of rashes. You may develop red bumps resembling heat rash on your face (miliaria). You may also develop a rough, bumpy rash on your shins called pretibial myxedema. If you notice either of these symptoms, you may be hyperthyroid.

neck pain

You have changes in your neck

Hyperthyroidism is associated with goiter, an enlarged thyroid. You may notice visible enlargement in your neck, or you may find that you’re more sensitive to ties, scarves, and turtlenecks. If you have neck enlargement or sensitivity, you may be hyperthyroid.

fingers on eyes

You have changes in your eyes

Hyperthyroidism can cause a variety of symptoms in your eyes, including dry eyes, blurry vision, double-vision, bulging, and a prominent stare. If you’re having eye-related symptoms, you may be hyperthyroid.

Mary Shomon
Meet Our Writer
Mary Shomon

Mary Shomon is a patient advocate and New York Times bestselling author who empowers readers with information on thyroid and autoimmune disease, diabetes, weight loss and hormonal health from an integrative perspective. Mary has been a leading force advocating for more effective, patient-centered hormonal healthcare. Mary also co-stars in PBS’ Healthy Hormones TV series. Mary also serves on HealthCentral’s Health Advocates Advisory Board.