The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck, and it plays a crucial role in various functions of your body. Thyroid hormones can have a significant impact on both physical and mental performance. If you find yourself feeling unwell without an apparent cause, it may be indicative of a thyroid problem. Women aged above 35 often have an increased likelihood of developing a thyroid disorder. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones, including TH, which regulate metabolic rate, body temperature, and heartbeat. Issues can arise when the thyroid becomes overactive or underactive. What can lead to thyroid dysfunction? Factors contributing to thyroid disorders can include autoimmune attacks, stress, nutritional deficiencies, genetic predisposition, or exposure to environmental toxins. Diagnosing a thyroid disorder can be challenging, as thyroid hormones have a far-reaching impact on various bodily functions, from the brain to the digestive system. Below, we have listed 19 signs of thyroid problems that should not be overlooked.
Experiencing extreme tiredness and a lack of energy can be associated with various health conditions, but it is notably linked to a disorder characterized by insufficient thyroid hormone production. If you consistently feel exceptionally tired in the morning or throughout the day despite having a full night's sleep, it may be indicative of an underactive thyroid. Insufficient thyroid hormone reaching the cells and bloodstream can result in a lack of necessary signalling to the muscles. Fatigue is a primary symptom that may suggest an underactive thyroid.
Experiencing feelings of anxiety and restlessness may be related to hyperthyroidism, a condition characterized by the excessive production of thyroid hormones. In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland is overactive, continuously sending signals to all systems within the body, causing the metabolism to accelerate into overdrive. If you find it challenging to relax and constantly feel on edge, it could be indicative of hyperthyroidism.
An increased appetite can be indicative of hyperthyroidism, a condition where an excess of thyroid hormones may make you feel constantly hungry. However, it's important to note that the "hyper" aspect of this disorder often counteracts the caloric impact of an increased appetite, preventing significant weight gain. Conversely, an underactive thyroid may disrupt your sense of smell and taste, potentially leading to alterations in your perception of flavors.
Experiencing unusual sadness or depression may be indicative of hypothyroidism symptoms. This occurs due to the production of insufficient thyroid hormone, which can affect the levels of "feel good" serotonin in your brain. Additionally, an underactive thyroid can lead to a slowing down of other bodily systems, which can contribute to mood swings.
Experiencing cognitive difficulties, such as uncertainty or changes in mental clarity, can occur due to various factors, including aging or sleep deprivation. However, it's essential to recognize that thyroid dysfunction can also have a significant impact on cognitive functioning. Excess thyroid hormone, as seen in hyperthyroidism, may lead to difficulties in proper concentration and focus, while an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone, as seen in hypothyroidism, can result in brain fog and forgetfulness. Patients with hypothyroidism often report a noticeable improvement in mental clarity and cognitive sharpness after receiving treatment from healthcare professionals.
A reduced or complete lack of interest in sexual activities can be a potential side effect of thyroid disorders. Specifically, an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone, as seen in hypothyroidism, may lead to a low libido. It's worth noting that other symptoms of hypothyroidism can exacerbate this issue, including low energy levels, body aches, severe pains, and weight gain.
Sensations of heightened excitement, such as a fluttery feeling or heart palpitations, can manifest as the sensation that your heart is skipping a beat or beating rapidly and forcefully. These sensations may be felt in the chest, neck, or throat. Heart palpitations or fluttering sensations can be indicative of an excessive amount of thyroid hormones in the system, a condition known as hyperthyroidism.
Experiencing itchy and dry skin can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. The alteration in skin appearance and texture may be attributed to a slowed metabolism, which reduces sweating. Insufficient moisture can lead to flakiness and dryness of the skin. Additionally, hypothyroidism can result in brittle nails with the development of ridges.
Individuals with hypothyroidism often report experiencing constipation. The hormonal imbalance associated with hypothyroidism can lead to a slowdown in digestive processes, resulting in reduced motility in the gut. Constipation is a common symptom of hypothyroidism. Conversely, an overactive thyroid gland may be responsible for diarrhea or frequent bowel movements, which are typical symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
Altered menstrual patterns can be indicative of thyroid dysfunction. In cases of hypothyroidism, individuals may experience longer menstrual periods with heavier flow and increased cramps. This occurs due to a shortage of thyroid hormones, which can lead to periods occurring more frequently. Conversely, hyperthyroidism can manifest as menstrual irregularities in a different manner. In this condition, higher levels of thyroid hormones may result in shorter, lighter periods that deviate from the usual timeframe. Research has shown a strong association between thyroid problems and irregular periods. If you experience exceptionally heavy periods, it is essential to monitor for signs of anemia.
At times, you may experience unexplained pain, which could be unrelated to strenuous activity or an injury. If you are suffering from sudden numbness or tingling sensations in your arms, feet, hands, or legs, it may be an indication of hypothyroidism. Excessive thyroid hormone production can lead to nerve damage over time, affecting the transmission of signals from the spinal cord and brain to various parts of your body. The result can manifest as unexplained twinges and tingling sensations.
Elevated blood pressure levels may be indicative of a thyroid disorder. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism symptoms have the potential to contribute to hypertension. However, research indicates that individuals with hypothyroidism may face a higher risk, with two to three times greater likelihood of developing hypertension. The reduced levels of thyroid hormone associated with hypothyroidism can lead to a slower heart rate, affecting the strength and flexibility of blood vessel walls. These factors can collectively result in an increase in blood pressure.
Experiencing chills or feeling persistently cold may be associated with hypothyroidism. The slowed-down metabolic processes resulting from an underactive thyroid can lead to reduced energy expenditure by the body's cells, resulting in a decrease in heat production. Conversely, an overactive thyroid can accelerate energy-producing cell activity, causing individuals with hyperthyroidism to experience excessive sweating and a sensation of extreme heat.
Alterations in your voice or the presence of a lump in the throat may indicate a thyroid disorder. You can examine your neck for signs of thyroid swelling by using a hand mirror while drinking water to get a clear view of your throat. During this self-examination, you should be looking for any protrusions or bulges in the thyroid area. It may require multiple attempts to accurately locate your thyroid gland. If you notice anything suspicious, it is essential to promptly consult a doctor for further evaluation.
Significant changes in your sleep patterns can be indicative of thyroid dysfunction. If you consistently feel the need to sleep excessively, it may be a sign of hypothyroidism. An underactive thyroid can slow down various bodily functions to the extent that increased sleep is a common response. Conversely, when you find it challenging to sleep properly, it may suggest hyperthyroidism. An overactive thyroid can lead to symptoms such as anxiety and a rapid pulse rate, making it difficult to fall asleep or causing night time awakenings.
Experiencing a notable change in your weight, whether it involves gaining or losing a substantial amount, can be indicative of a thyroid disorder. If you have gained a significant amount of weight, it is essential to consult with your doctor, as weight gain is a common symptom associated with thyroid disorders, especially in women. Conversely, a sudden and unexplained loss of weight may suggest hyperthyroidism, a condition characterized by excessive thyroid hormone production.
Experiencing issues with your hair, such as dryness, brittleness, breakage, or thinning, can be indicative of thyroid dysfunction. Dry and brittle hair that easily breaks or falls out may be a sign of hypothyroidism. Insufficient thyroid hormone levels can disrupt hair growth, causing many hair follicles to enter a resting phase, ultimately resulting in hair loss, which can occur all over the body, including the eyebrows. Conversely, an overactive thyroid, as seen in hyperthyroidism, can also lead to hair-related problems, often presenting as thinning hair on the scalp.
If you have been attempting to conceive for an extended period without success, thyroid dysfunction, either in the form of an overactive or underactive thyroid, could be a contributing factor. Prolonged difficulty in achieving pregnancy has been associated with a higher risk of undiagnosed thyroid issues. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can disrupt the ovulation process, affecting fertility. Additionally, thyroid disorders are linked to potential complications during pregnancy.
Having higher levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) that have not responded to diet, medication, or exercise has been associated with hypothyroidism. Elevated levels of bad cholesterol may be a consequence of an underactive thyroid and a cause for concern. Conversely, untreated hypothyroidism can contribute to heart problems, including the enlargement of the heart and the potential development of heart failure.
Therefore, book a thyroid function test at our clinic today where our doctors provide comprehensive care.