8 Warning Signs of Hypothyroidism
Your thyroid is the most essential gland in your body. If it doesn’t work properly, your health can be at serious risk. Thereof, the importance of learning to identify signs of hypothyroidism or insufficiently active thyroid, which can affect a variety of functions in your body. This article provides important information in this regard!
Signs of Hypothyroidism
1. Weakness and hair loss
Hypothyroidism can cause different types of problems related to your hair. The most common is thinning hair, split ends, hair loss, and dryness.
If you’ve always had a healthy hair and suddenly one of these problems appears, pay attention to any other symptoms.
However, don’t be overly concerned if this is the only thing you notice. Since changes in your diet and lifestyle can also affect how your hair grows and looks.
If a member of your family also has the same hair problem, the odds are that it’s a genetic issue rather than your thyroid.
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2. Constantly feeling cold
Cold hands are also part of the signs of hypothyroidism. Pay attention if you have that feeling all the time even though you’re in a warm area. This is one of the most reliable warnings that your thyroid isn’t functioning as it should.
What you’re experiencing is an intolerance to cold. The difference between this and actual hypersensitivity to cold temperatures is the presence of a deep pain in your bones.
However, before you worry about feeling cold, figure out whether or not it’s an issue with the climate around you. If you’ve recently moved, you might experience some discomfort as you adjust to the new weather.
On the other hand, if you haven’t made any recent changes but still feel these sensations, you should visit your doctor.
3. Mental fatigue
Do you find yourself suffering from forgetfulness and mental fatigue? Does it happen even when you’re keeping a healthy diet?
Undoubtedly, mental fatigue is very common in people who keep a stressful work. But if you take work breaks, and yet, this feeling of tiredness returns, it could be one of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
There’s a strong link between your hormone levels and your bodily organs functioning. Actually, a lack of the thyroid hormone weakens your brain. For instance, this is what causes memory lapses and blackouts.
If you’ve experienced them on rare occasions in the past, it’s normal. But if they appear on a regular basis, it could be one of the signs of hypothyroidism.
4. Sudden increase or decrease in weight
When your thyroid isn’t functioning properly you might experience sudden fluctuations in your weight, either up or down. Your eating habits probably won’t have any effect on this.
Certainly, changes in weight will typically occur immediately. This is because the hormones that the thyroid normally produces control your body’s storage and use of fat.
When your thyroid stops working as it should, the body doesn’t burn fat properly. In some people it could result in excess calorie burn. On the contrary, in others, it could cause an accumulation and storage of fat.
5. Pain and muscle cramps
Are you experiencing cramping and constant muscle aches? Unless you’ve recently started a new exercise routine, it could be one of the signs of hypothyroidism.
When your thyroid begins to fail, the mineral accumulation can cause pain and cramping in the joints and muscles.
Mainly, the body areas affected by this are the hands and legs.
Do you feel sad, uninterested, or depressed by common activities? Hypothyroidism can have this effect due to the complex combination of hormones that it is normally in charge of.
When the hormones become imbalanced, depression often appears. In this case, you’ll find that therapy or behavioral changes don’t improve your situation.
Usually, this type of depression requires medication. It may help you achieve the balance again, despite it won’t be easy. Likely, your doctor will have to make several adjustments to your medication before finding the right balance.
7. Dry nails and skin
Brittle nails and dry skin are a clear sign that you’re suffering from hypothyroidism. But it’s important to notice that you should know your body pretty well. Since there might be certain times of the year when you experience drier skin and nails than usual for other reasons.
In the winter, for example, it’s normal to expect these symptoms when the air or wind are dry, cold and constant. However, a clear sign of a problem is when brittle nails and hair persist during the warmer months as well.
The problem with dry skin is that, if left untreated, you can suffer from serious injuries. The skin becomes more delicate and could lead to infections. This is a very serious problem for people who have other disorders, such as diabetes.
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8. Decreased sex drive
Have you noticed that your sexual desire has suddenly decreased for no reason? A lot of factors can cause this, it’s true. For instance stress, poor circulation, or an unhappy relationship.
However, if you have ruled all those symptoms out, and the problem persists, you might have to consider it as one of the signs of hypothyroidism.
Don’t consider the decrease in sexual desire is your fault. Usually, it’s just a symptom, and once you’ve uncovered the main problem, everything will return to normal.
It’s important to emphasize that all of the symptoms we’ve discussed in this article can be indicatives of other types of problems. As it was mentioned in the beginning.
Nevertheless, if you notice that you’re experiencing more than one of them at the same time, you should consider visiting your doctor. It’s worth it!
A generic checkup, like simple tests, could help you determine whether you have a thyroid condition that requires treatment.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Gilbert, J. (2017). Hypothyroidism. Medicine (United Kingdom). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mpmed.2017.05.009
- Freeman, A. G. (1997). Hypothyroidism. Lancet. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(05)62920-0
- Kostoglou-Athanassiou, I., & Ntalles, K. (2010). Hypothyroidism – New aspects of an old disease. Hippokratia.