Fatigue is a symptom of hyperthyroidism. The condition can speed up a person’s metabolism and cause them to experience disrupted sleep patterns, insomnia, and anxiety. The combined effects of these can contribute to feelings of fatigue.
The American Thyroid Association (ATA) explains that a person’s thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of the neck. Someone has hyperthyroidism if their thyroid gland is overactive and produces excess thyroid hormones.
This article explains the link between hyperthyroidism and tiredness or fatigue and offers tips on how to cope with it. It also outlines the other symptoms of hyperthyroidism and how doctors treat the condition.
According to the
Thyroid hormones play a vital role in controlling metabolism and how the body works.
The ATA explains that since hyperthyroidism increases metabolism, people will initially experience a surge in energy levels. However, the body begins to break down, resulting in tiredness.
When levels of thyroid hormones in a person’s blood increase, their metabolism and other bodily functions speed up. Over time, this additional work exhausts the body, causing fatigue in individuals.
Hyperthyroidism can also cause symptoms that can cause someone to feel fatigued. These symptoms include:
According to the ATA, doctors may prescribe antithyroid drugs to stop the thyroid producing hormones. People may find that they become less tired once their hyperthyroidism and its symptoms are under control.
People can also try talking therapy, lifestyle changes, and proper sleep hygiene.
People can experience nervousness, anxiety, and irritability as symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Other symptoms of the condition, such as difficulty sleeping, can also add to a person’s anxiety and irritability.
To help combat fatigue and tiredness, people can try the following lifestyle changes:
- avoid drinking alcohol
- avoid caffeine
- eat regular meals throughout the day, along with healthy snacks every 3–4 hours
- take part in regular exercise, as even a 15-minute walk is beneficial
- achieve and maintain a moderate weight
- reduce stress, if possible
- drink plenty of water
- get plenty of sleep
- go to bed and wake up at consistent times every day
- ensure the bedroom is quiet and dark
- ensure the bedroom is at a comfortable temperature
- remove electronic devices from the room
- exercise regularly
Before bed, people should avoid alcohol, caffeine, and large meals.
The symptoms of hyperthyroidism vary between people.
Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- a rapid or irregular heartbeat
- sudden and unexpected weight loss, even when eating more than usual
- anxiety and nervousness
- shaky hands, or tremors
- muscle weakness, particularly in the thighs and upper arms
- difficulty sleeping, or insomnia
- increased sweating
- difficulty tolerating heat
- more bowel movements than usual
- brittle hair
- thinning skin
- a lump or swelling at the front of the neck called a goiter
- Medications: Beta-blockers can help reduce the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, while antithyroid medications cause the thyroid to make less thyroid hormone.
- Radioiodine therapy: This destroys thyroid cells and reduces the size of the gland. In the United States, around 70% of adults with hyperthyroidism take radioactive iodine.
- Surgery: A surgeon may remove a part or all of the thyroid gland.
Some people find that their feelings of fatigue may linger even after treatment. They can benefit by planning activities for times when they feel well-rested and scheduling periods of relaxation.
Hyperthyroidism describes an overactive thyroid gland that produces excess amounts of thyroid hormones. These hormones speed up a person’s metabolism, affecting every part of the body.
Some people with hyperthyroidism experience fatigue or overwhelming exhaustion. This can seriously affect their quality of life and cause physical symptoms such as muscle weakness.
Many people manage their symptoms with medications and lifestyle changes. Keeping well-rested, eating a nutritious diet, reducing stress, and taking regular exercise, can help.