Hyperthyroidism leads to an increase in the body’s metabolism. In children and young people, the most obvious symptoms can be weight loss and rapid growth in height. There is a long list of other symptoms and signs associated with hyperthyroidism although not everyone will have all of them. These include:

  • heart palpitations or a racing heartbeat
  • sweating,
  • not being able to stand heat,
  • being intolerant of warmth and warm conditions
  • tiredness
  • nervousness and irritability
  • shakiness
  • a rapid pulse
  • mood swings or aggressive behaviour
  • loose bowel movements
  • weak muscles
  • warm, moist hands
  • difficulty concentrating and sitting still
  • thirst
  • itchiness
  • an enlarged thyroid gland (a goitre)

Symptoms can come on very quickly – within the space of a few days or weeks – or may develop over a long period of time. Occasionally children with Graves’ disease may also develop thyroid eye disease (TED). This is usually quite mild in children.