This is a problem with your thyroid. That's a hormone-producing gland in your neck. The thyroid makes hormones that help control many activities in your body. These hormones affect things like your metabolism and heart rate. With hyperthyroidism, your thyroid makes more hormones than your body needs.


Hyperthyroidism is most often caused by an immune system disorder called "Graves' disease." It can be caused by growths of tissue known as "thyroid nodules." And, it can be caused by an inflammation of the thyroid we call "thyroiditis."


There are many symptoms of hyperthyroidism. They vary from person to person. You may have emotional effects, like mood swings, nervousness and irritability. You may feel physical effects, like a rapid heartbeat and hands that shake. You may have changes in your appetite and in your bowel movements, and you may lose weight. You may develop a swelling in your neck called a "goiter." Ask your doctor for a full list of symptoms.


Hyperthyroidism is most often treated with radioactive iodine. It destroys the overactive cells in your thyroid. Other medication may be used, too. In some cases, surgery may be needed. Your healthcare provider will create a plan that's right for you.