14 Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Problems
Since many of the symptoms of thyroid problems could also be associated with other health problems, it's always a good idea to consult your doctor.
Thyroid problems are more common than what you might think. They also tend to mostly affect women.
Symptoms may not be noticeable or even present. However, it’s really important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of thyroid problems.
We’ll go over some of the most common ones in this article.
What you need to know about the thyroid gland
The thyroid is a small gland located above the clavicle and is responsible for producing two important hormones (T3 and T4).
These two hormones regulate:
- Body temperature
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
If the thyroid is not functioning as it should, it can lead to the following problems:
- Hyperthyroidism, where the body produces more hormones than normal.
- Hypothyroidism, where it doesn’t produce enough hormones.
Both are the result of a problem with the immune system. This means that antibodies in the organ keep it from functioning properly.
Don’t forget to read: 8 Foods to Manage Blood Pressure
Signs of poor thyroid function
Pay attention to the signs your body is giving you so that you can get any problems with your thyroid properly treated as soon as possible.
Sadness and depression
Mood can by affected by thyroid problems. This type of depression occurs without an apparent reason.
When the gland produces too little hormones, serotonin levels plummet and this translates into negative feelings.
On the contrary, if the thyroid produces too many hormones, you may feel constantly restless and agitated.
If you exercise and follow a strict diet, but still can’t seem to manage to lose a single pound, it may be due to thyroid problems.
The same may be true if you can’t seem to gain any weight, despite how much you eat. Metabolic changes are closely linked with these imbalances.
Problems going to the bathroom, despite eating plenty of vegetables and fiber, is one of the main signs of thyroid dysfunction.
If you suffer from chronic constipation that causes bloating and intestinal pain, see your doctor as soon as possible.
If you can’t fall asleep or you wake up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, it could be your thyroid. Trouble sleeping, nightmares and insomnia are all associated with a poorly functioning thyroid gland.
Thyroid problems can also manifest as an increased need to sleep and difficulty getting up early. An under-active thyroid slows the body’s functions.
This symptom is linked to several diseases and even everyday habits like exercising too much or lifting too much weight.
Reduced thyroid function can cause joint pain, especially in the arms and legs. Care must be taken because this in turn can develop into fibromyalgia.
Moisturizing lotions, creams and oils aren’t enough: skin is always dry and “scaly.”
This symptom is most noticeable in the legs and face. The armpits and the scalp may also be dry. In many cases, it’s due to sweating less than normal.
High cholesterol on a blood test is unusual when you’re eating a balanced diet, low in fat.
When a person is suffering from hypothyroidism, the body’s metabolism is slower and cannot properly burn fat. This causes cholesterol and triglycerides levels to rise.
Loss of libido
Lack of interest in sex could be related to a problem with the thyroid gland. Poor mood, weight gain and joint pain often worsen loss of libido.
Moving the neck in certain directions creates pressure that keeps you from swallowing properly. Hoarseness is another common symptom of thyroid problems. This is because the gland increases in size and puts pressure on the trachea.
Using muscles that aren’t accustomed to exertion becomes a nightmare with pain that can last for days.
If parts of your body are also numb, it would be a good idea to see your doctor for a checkup.
This can be due to a dry scalp or the metabolic changes associated with a thyroid disorder.
It’s normal to see a few hairs on the pillow in the morning or to lose a few strands while bathing or brushing. However, losing a bunch just from touching your head is not normal.
The hair loss is not restricted to the scalp, the eyebrows are also susceptible. Growth slows for the hair on the legs, underarms and pubic region. When it does grow in, it’s very thin and brittle.
Palpitations occur when the heart beats so fast that you can feel it, even while lying down.
If you notice light palpitations in your neck or wrists without having exerted yourself physically, it may be because your thyroid gland is producing too many hormones.
Want to know more? Read: 6 Habits That Cause Neck Pain
High blood pressure
A variety of factors can cause hypertension which is why doctors don’t immediately look to the thyroid.
If your blood pressure is still high, despite taking medication and eating a healthy diet, you may need to have your doctor check the gland in your neck.
Changes in appetite
Maybe you didn’t used to eat a lot before, but now can’t go 30 minutes without feeling hungry again or craving a different type of food (oily, sugary or salty).
The opposite can also occur. Maybe you were used to eating 4 times a day, but now can only manage to eat twice. All of these changes could be directly linked to problems with your thyroid gland.