What Are the Side Effects of High Thyroid Levels?


Quick Answer

The most common side effect of high thyroid levels, or hyperthyroidism, is a protruding lump in the throat, which is also known as a goiter, according to WebMD. The heartbeat is sometimes irregular or very fast. Hair falls out, thins or becomes brittle.

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Full Answer

Hyperthyroidism has other physical symptoms, such as shaky hands, increased sweating and thinning skin, states WebMD. Fingernails tend to grow faster, and thigh and upper arm muscles weaken. Women sometimes experience fewer or lighter periods. Double vision and protruding eyes are also side effects.

In some cases, high thyroid levels affect daily behavior. Bowel movements are loose and occur more often, explains WebMD. People lose weight, even though increased appetite leads to additional food consumption. Certain people have a heightened sense of worry and fear. They feel more irritable and nervous.

People with slightly elevated thyroid levels sometimes experience no symptoms, WebMD discloses. This is especially common in senior citizens. Since many signs of hyperthyroidism are also found in other conditions, a definitive diagnosis requires blood tests. These include measurements of thyroid-stimulating hormones, thyroid hormone and thyroid-stimulating antibodies.

If results confirm hyperthyroidism, further tests are sometimes ordered, reports WebMD. An ultrasound looks for thyroid lumps or inflammation. A thyroid scan determines the location of iodine in the gland. The level of iodine absorption is checked using a radioactive iodine uptake test.

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