Hyperactivity is a behavior in which a person is excessively or constantly active. Hyperactivity can be a symptom of a variety of conditions, including excessive caffeine intake, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHA), stimulant drug use and hyperthyroidism.
A frequent cause of hyperactivity is ADHD, a common neurobehavioral developmental disorder. ADHD is sometimes referred to as hyperactivity or hyper. Other symptoms that occur with ADHD include problems with inattention and impulsivity. These behaviors coupled with hyperactivity can result in further symptoms and complications, such as difficulties with school and work and in relationships.
Hyperactivity caused by hyperthyroidism is caused by a variety of thyroid disorders that overstimulate the thyroid gland and increase production of thyroid hormone. Increased production of thyroid hormone results in a stimulation or quickening of the body's metabolism. This results in additional symptoms, such as nervousness, anxiety and hypertension. Untreated hyperthyroidism can lead to serious, potentially life-threatening complications.
Stimulant drug use can also cause hyperactivity. Stimulant drugs include certain diet pills, and foods, beverages and supplements that contain caffeine. Overuse of stimulants can also result in hyperactivity and other symptoms, such as insomnia, diarrhea and nervousness. Complications are also possible. In some sensitive people, even moderate use of stimulants can result in hyperactivity and other symptoms and complications. For more information about complications and symptoms of hyperactivity, refer to symptoms of hyperactivity.
Making a diagnosis of hyperactivity and its underlying cause begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination.
A variety of tests may be done to help determine the underlying cause of hyperactivity. Blood tests include tests that determine levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and the thyroid hormone thyroxine. Low levels of TSH and high levels of thyroxine indicate hyperthyroidism. If hyperthyroidism is present, other tests are done to determine the underlying cause, such as Graves' disease or thyroid nodules.
Other tests may be performed to check for potential complications of hyperthyroidism, such as heart disease. These can include blood tests that can reveal hypercholesterolemia, increased liver enzymes, or anemia. A chest X-ray may be done to evaluate the size of the heart.
There is no single test that is used to diagnose ADHD, and a diagnosis of the disorder is based partly on symptoms. Only a full evaluation by a licensed health care professional can truly diagnose or rule out ADHD. It is generally accepted that person must exhibit symptoms to an extent greater than the average person of the same age for six months or more.
It is also important that a person who is exhibiting symptoms of ADHD be evaluated for other medical conditions in addition to hyperthyroidism that might be affecting behavior. These include petit mal seizures, diabetes, learning disabilities, depression, anxiety, and conditions that can affect hearing or vision, such as ear infections or a need for glasses.
Because hyperactivity is a general behavior as well as a symptom of a variety of diseases or disorders, a missed or delayed diagnosis is possible. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of hyperactivity.
Treatment of hyperactivity varies greatly depending on the underlying cause. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of hyperactivity. ...more »
The primary symptom of hyperactivity is excessive or constant activity, movement and motion. Other symptoms of hyperactivity include excessive talking, inability to sit still even during short periods, and being constantly on the move, running, jumping, or screaming.
Symptoms that can accompany hyperactivity vary depending on the underlying cause.
Symptoms that occur with ADHD include ...more symptoms »
Treatment plans for hyperactivity are individualized based on the underlying disease or disorder, the patient's age, medical condition and other factors.
When hyperactivity is caused by stimulant drug use, reduction and/or discontinuation of the stimulant is generally prescribed. With some stimulant medications or excessive caffeine use, a gradual tapering off of use ...more treatments »
A diagnosis hyperactivity caused by ADHD may missed because coexisting symptoms can mimic symptoms of many other disorders and diseases, such as anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, petit mal seizures, learning disabilities, diabetes, and conditions that can affect hearing or vision.
It is not uncommon for adults with ADHD to have struggled most of their lives ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Hyperactivity
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Wrongly Diagnosed with Hyperactivity?
Causes of Hyperactivity
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Hyperactivity: Undiagnosed Conditions
Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:
Misdiagnosis and Hyperactivity
Rare epilepsy misdiagnosed as ADHD: The less common disorder of temporal lobe epilepsy
is a type of epilepsy without physical seizures....read more »
Various conditions misdiagnosed as ADHD: The hyperactivity type symptoms that are often diagnosed
as ADHD, can also be caused by a number of physical conditions,
as reported in the book ...read more »
ADHD diagnosis overlooked hidden nutritional disorder: The book "A Dose of Sanity" reports on a case of a boy
diagnosed with ADHD and receiving Ritalin.
His symptoms included tiredness, irritability, poor growth,
and eating...read more »
Undiagnosed stroke leads to misdiagnosed aphasia: BBC News UK reported on a man who
had been institutionalized and treated for mental illness
because he...read more »
Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for
a patient to show mental decline to dementia.
Whereas this can, of course, occur due...read more »
ADHD under-diagnosed in adults: Although the over-diagnoses of ADHD
in children is a well-known controversy, the reverse side related to adults.
Some adults can remain undiagnosed,...read more »
Bipolar disorder misdiagosed as various conditions by primary physicians: Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder)
often fails to be diagnosed correctly by primary...read more »
Eating disorders under-diagnosed in men: The typical patient with
an eating disorder is female.
The result is that men with eating disorders often fail to be diagnosed or
have a delayed diagnosis.
See misdiagnosis of eating disorders or ...read more »
Depression undiagnosed in teenagers: Serious bouts of depression can be
undiagnosed in teenagers.
The "normal" moodiness of teenagers can cause severe medical...read more »
Undiagnosed anxiety disorders related to depression: Patients with depression (see symptoms of depression)
may also have undiagnosed anxiety disorders (see symptoms of...read more »
Read more about Misdiagnosis and Hyperactivity
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