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When You Have Hyperthyroidism

You have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. This means your thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. This hormone is vital to your body's growth and metabolism. But if you have too much, your body's processes may speed up or overreact. This can cause a lot of symptoms. Hyperthyroidism is treated with medicines, radiation, or surgery. Below are instructions for self-care and follow-up care.

Taking your medicine

  • Take your medicine exactly as directed. 

  • Take your medicine at the same time every day. Keep your pills in a container that is labeled with the days of the week. This will help you know if you’ve taken your medicine each day.

  • Try to take your medicine with the same food or drink each day. This will help you control the amount of thyroid hormone in your body.

  • Take any calcium supplements at least 4 hours before or after taking your thyroid hormone pill.

  • Don’t stop taking your medicine. If you do, your symptoms will come back. Only make changes to your medicine as your healthcare provider instructs.

  • If you have other medicines for hyperthyroidism besides thyroid hormone pills, keep taking them as directed. 

  • Keep a card in your wallet that says you have hyperthyroidism. Make sure it has:

    • Your name and address

    • Contact information for your provider

    • Names and doses of your medicines

Keeping track of symptoms

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms of too little thyroid hormone. This is called hypothyroidism. This can be a side effect of treatment.

Symptoms of too little thyroid hormone include:

  • Tiredness or low energy

  • Puffy hands, face, or feet

  • Hoarseness

  • Muscle pain

  • Slow heartbeat (less than 60 beats per minute)

  • Feeling cold when people near you are not

Also tell your provider if you have symptoms of too much thyroid hormone. These include:

  • Restlessness, anxiety, or tremors

  • Fast, unplanned weight loss

  • A lot of sweating

  • Fast heartbeat (more than 100 beats per minute)

  • Feeling hot when people near you are not

  • More menstrual bleeding

  • Fatigue and muscle weakness

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Increased appetite

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider as advised. Keep all appointments to see your provider. Have blood tests as often as needed. These are to check your hormone levels. You will need these blood tests for the rest of your life.

To learn more

These resources can help you learn more:

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Anxiety, shakiness, or sleeplessness that gets worse

  • Sore throat while taking medicines to control hyperthyroidism

  • Fever of 100.4°F ( 38°C) or higher, or as directed by your provider

  • Feeling sweaty and hot when people near you are not

  • Shortness of breath

  • Trouble focusing your eyes or double vision

  • Bulging eyes

  • Weight loss for no clear reason

  • Fast heartbeat at rest (more than 100 beats per minute)

  • Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) that gets larger

  • Diarrhea

Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Robert Hurd MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2021
© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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