Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Hyperthyroidism?

Though rare, dizziness may indicate thyroid disorders such as hyperthyroidism. In a study¹ of 100 people who reported to the emergency department with dizziness, hyperthyroidism was the underlying cause in only 2%.

This article explains why dizziness may be a symptom of a thyroid condition like hyperthyroidism, and when you should see your doctor to discuss your symptoms. 

Have you considered clinical trials for Hyperthyroidism?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Hyperthyroidism, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

What is hyperthyroidism?

An overactive thyroid, sometimes called hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis, is a condition in which the thyroid gland generates excessive amounts of thyroid hormones. 

The thyroid gland is a tiny butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck, just behind the windpipe, and it generates hormones that regulate your heart rate and body temperature.

Excessive levels of thyroid hormones can result in unpleasant and significant side effects that need treatment.

Although an overactive thyroid may affect anybody, it is about ten times more common in women than in men and often occurs between ages 20 to 40.

What are the causes and risk factors of hyperthyroidism?

If you have hyperthyroidism, your thyroid gland generates excessive thyroid hormones. This results in elevated levels of the two thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) in the body.

Some conditions cause your thyroid to become too active, and they include:

Graves' disease 

Graves' disease is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system targets your thyroid inadvertently, causing it to become hyperactive. Graves' illness mainly affects young or middle-aged women² and is hereditary. Additionally, smoking might raise your chance of contracting the condition.

Overactive thyroid nodules 

Thyroid nodules, or lumps in the thyroid, are relatively common and are often not cancerous. However, some nodules may become hyperactive in producing excessive thyroid hormone, resulting in hyperthyroidism. The majority of overactive nodules are present in older people.

Excess iodine 

Your thyroid uses iodine to produce thyroid hormone, and the amount of iodine you ingest impacts the quantity of thyroid hormone produced. Large quantities of iodine may cause the thyroid gland to make too many hormones, increasing your risk of hyperthyroidism.


Thyroiditis is an inflammatory condition that affects the thyroid gland. Certain kinds of thyroiditis may result in releasing thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland into your bloodstream. As a result, you may experience hyperthyroidism symptoms.

You are at a higher risk of developing hyperthyroidism if you:

  • Have type 1 diabetes    

  • Have a family history of thyroid disease 

  • Have vitamin B12 deficiency 

  • Are over 60 years old


Hyperthyroidism can cause complications if it is not managed. These include:

  • Eye problems: Referred to as thyroid eye disease, around one in three people with Grave’s disease experience this condition. It can cause eye discomfort and blurred vision or loss of vision.

  • Pregnancy problems: Having an overactive thyroid during pregnancy may raise the risk of premature births and miscarriages.

  • Elevated heart rate: An abnormally fast heartbeat may result in stroke, heart failure, palpitations, and blood clots.

  • Menstrual issues: Hyperthyroidism may affect the menstrual cycle and cause fertility difficulties.

  • Weakened bones: Osteoporosis is a condition that makes your bones more brittle and prone to fracture.

Is dizziness a symptom of a thyroid problem?

Yes, dizziness is a symptom of a thyroid problem. Thyroid diseases³ or thyroid abnormalities sometimes manifest as dizziness.

A high heart rate, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness are all possible symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

The release of insufficient thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) may result in low blood pressure and a slowed heart rate, causing dizziness, weakness, lethargy, and chills.

Does dizziness suggest you have hyperthyroidism?

Yes, dizziness⁴ may indicate that you have hyperthyroidism. As the thyroid gland releases excessive amounts of thyroid hormones, your heart rate increases, causing shortness of breath and lightheadedness.

Do other symptoms of thyroid conditions cause dizziness?

Yes, other symptoms of thyroid conditions can cause dizziness. Although dizziness and lightheadedness are not the main symptoms of hyperthyroidism, they can be severe and even debilitating for some people.

As a result, it is recommended to address the more typical causes of dizziness and lightheadedness in people with hyperthyroidism.

Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism

The symptoms of hyperthyroidism vary person by person but may include the following:

  • Increased appetite 

  • Inability to gain weight or unintended weight loss 

  • Fast or irregular pulse

  • Exhaustion, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia

  • Frequent perspiration or an inability to tolerate heat

  • Trembling hands and muscular weakness

  • Diarrhea

  • A neck enlargement, referred to as a goiter

  • Hair loss

Hyperthyroidism is often misdiagnosed in older people as depression⁵ or dementia. Older people with hyperthyroidism may have different symptoms, such as lack of appetite or social disengagement.

When to see your doctor

Consult your physician immediately if you experience a sudden worsening of hyperthyroidism symptoms, such as a fever, fast pulse, dizziness, and delirium. Delirium is characterized by diminished consciousness, disorientation, and restlessness.

How doctors diagnose hyperthyroidism

Your physician will get a medical history and conduct a physical examination to diagnose hyperthyroidism.

A diagnosis of hyperthyroidism cannot be made only based on symptoms since many overlap with those of other disorders. That is why your physician may order several thyroid blood tests and imaging studies to confirm the diagnosis and determine the underlying cause.

Since hyperthyroidism may affect fertility, women having difficulty conceiving are often checked for thyroid disorders.

What are the treatment options for hyperthyroidism?

Your therapy options for an overactive thyroid will be determined by the severity and underlying cause of symptoms, age, pregnancy status, and other personal health considerations. Among the treatment possibilities are the following:

Antithyroid drugs

Tablets are the easiest method of treating hyperthyroidism but may not be as effective as surgery. Methimazole is the most often prescribed medication, but Propylthiouracil is usually given to pregnant women in their first trimester.

Radioiodine treatment

Radioiodine procedure causes harm to the cells that produce thyroid hormones. Historically, it has been the favored technique of treating hyperthyroidism among doctors in the United States, although recent trends have shifted toward antithyroid drugs.

Thyroid surgery

Surgery to remove a portion of the whole of the thyroid gland is used to treat hyperthyroidism less often. Occasionally, physicians may do surgery to treat patients with large goiters or pregnant women who cannot take antithyroid medications.

The lowdown

Dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness are all symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Thyroid disorders like hyperthyroidism often run in families, so you may consider thyroid testing if you or a family member experiences symptoms.

Have you considered clinical trials for Hyperthyroidism?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Hyperthyroidism, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

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