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Thyroid Diseases

Hyperthyroidism or High Metabolism

10/02/2006

Question:

I suffer bouts of what I would describe as a `speeding up` of bodily processes. Many symptoms appear similar to those associated with overactive thyroid i.e.: sweating, increased appetite but weight loss, accelarated hair loss, increased bowel movement, sleeplessness and restlessness. Having had blood tests for thyroid, iron deficiency and the usual screening, they never show anything other than `normal` results. Could such symptoms be linked to a high metabolic rate and could this happen intermittantly? Can the increase in hormone level associated with overactive thyroid fluctuate and therefore be missed if blood is taken at the wrong time?

Answer:

Hyperthyroidism or high thyroid function is only one of many different reasons to explain your symptoms. Thyroid abnormalities are usually nonfluctuating as opposed to your symptoms, unless there are precipitating factors before each episode to enhance your baseline thyroid disorder. A complete history, evaluation of your thyroid function, and thyroid antibodies should be able to sort out your question irregardless of the timing of the test. 

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Response by:

Marzieh  Salehi, MD Marzieh Salehi, MD
Assistant Professor of Endocrinology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati