Hyperthyroidism

Also known as: overactive thyroid

What is hyperthyroidism?

The thyroid gland is a small organ in the neck that produces hormones that impact how your body uses energy. When your body produces more thyroid hormones than your body needs, this condition is known as hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid. Hyperthyroidism can lead to several complications, but it can be treated successfully.

What causes hyperthyroidism?

Inflammation of the thyroid (thyroiditis), growths in the thyroid (thyroid nodules), Graves disease, too much thyroid medication or too much iodine are all potential causes of hyperthyroidism.

What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

People with hyperthyroidism may experience fatigue, muscle weakness, trouble sleeping or tolerating heat, hand tremors, irritability, irregular heartbeat, weight loss, mood swing, frequent bowel movement, diarrhea or a goiter. Over time, hyperthyroidism can lead to complications related to your muscles, bones, heart and menstrual cycle.

How can hyperthyroidism affect children?

Pediatric hyperthyroidism is rare but can occur. In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, it can also cause problems with a child’s growth and development.

What are hyperthyroidism treatments?

The most common treatments for hyperthyroidism are medications that slow the production of thyroid hormones or help with symptoms, radioiodine therapy or surgery to remove the thyroid gland in rare instances. People with hyperthyroidism also may need to avoid certain foods and medications, particularly those that contain iodine.


Reviewed by: Alejandro Diaz, MD

This page was last updated on: June 29, 2022 01:37 PM

Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes

The Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital provides comprehensive services for infants, children, and adolescents with endocrine disorders.

Learn more