Is it stress or a thyroid disorder? Learning the signs & symptom - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Is it stress or a thyroid disorder? Learning the signs & symptoms

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Could you have a thyroid condition and not know it? 

The answer to that question for Barbara Creasey was yes.

"I'm tired all the time and I have a lot of anxiety," said Creasey. "The fast heart rate, which is the worst. Then I have the irritated eyes. And I can go days without sleeping."

After experiencing these symptoms and undergoing some testing, Creasey was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Creasey's thyroid was overactive, producing too many hormones, affecting every aspect of her health.

Dr. Nidhi Jain with the St. Vincent Diabetes and Endocrinology Clinic said the most common condition causing hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease.

"Graves' disease is an autoimmune condition in which the body makes antibodies that go attack your thyroid gland, causing it to become inflamed and put out too much thyroid hormone," said Dr. Jain.

Thyroid problems are extremely common and more common in women than in men.

The symptoms of hyperthyroidism include excessive anxiety, weight loss, tremors of the hands, heart palpitations and more frequent bowel movements. Treatment options include anti-thyroid medication, radioactive iodine treatment, or surgery.

"Majority of patients with hyperthyroidism can become hypothyroid. So it's very important while you're being treated that you keep your appointments with the doctor," said Dr. Jain.

The other type of thyroid imbalance is hypothyroidism which is an under active thyroid. It's more common and the symptoms include dry skin, irregular menstrual cycles and hair loss.