Symptoms of thyroid problems

Millions of people are diagnosed with thyroid problems every year. The thyroid is a gland that is located in the neck and is very important in the body’s metabolism function. When the thyroid does not function correctly, it can adversely affect your overall health, and cause weight, energy and depression problems. Most people with thyroid problems have no idea that their thyroid is malfunctioning. Left undiagnosed and untreated, thyroid conditions can increase the risk of heart disease, depression, obesity, sexual dysfunction, anxiety and hair loss as well as other health conditions. Some of the most common symptoms of thyroid problems include muscle and joint pains, problems associated with carpal tunnel and tendonitis and discomfort in the neck or an enlargement of the neck. This typically presents itself as a feeling of swelling and an overall discomfort with clothing such as turtlenecks that are worn over the neck. You may also notice a sudden hoarseness to your voice or a very noticeably enlarged thyroid gland.

Changes in the skin and hair are also considered to be symptoms of thyroid problems or disease. Hair loss is very frequently attributed to an over or underactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid can show symptoms of brittle, dry or coarse hair that breaks and falls out frequently. Your skin may become very thick and scaly. Hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid typically causes severe hair loss as well as thin and very fragile skin.

Thyroid problems can also cause bowel problems. One of the most commonly reported symptoms of thyroid problems is very severe constipation that lasts for an uncommon amount of time. Diarrhea is typically a symptom of hyperthyroidism as is irritable bowel syndrome. Infertility can also be a symptom of an underactive thyroid, particularly in conditions that are left undiagnosed for a long amount of time. Heavier and more painful periods have also been reported in patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

It is important to know your family history. If there is a history of thyroid diseases or conditions in your family, you are at a much higher risk for developing these problems yourself. Cholesterol issues may also point to thyroid problems. High levels of cholesterol, particularly those that do not respond well to medication, diet and exercise are symptoms of an underactive thyroid. Alternatively, if your cholesterol levels are abnormally low, this could be a symptom of an overactive thyroid.

Depression and anxiety are very common symptoms of thyroid conditions. If you are unusually depressed or begin suddenly experiencing anxiety issues, you should have your doctor check your thyroid hormone levels as these can be directly related to the thyroid gland. Any depression that does not respond to anti-depressant medication is also considered a symptom of thyroid conditions.

One of the most commonly reported symptom of a thyroid condition is an uncommon fluctuation in weight. If you are dieting and simply cannot lose weight or you are not dieting yet you suddenly begin losing weight even without changing your eating habits, these could be signaling problems with your thyroid.

Finally, the most common and most reported symptom of thyroid problems is extreme fatigue. If you are unusually tired all of the time without changes to your daily lifestyle, this can signal a severe problem with your thyroid gland. If you feel completely exhausted after eight to ten hours of sleep and simply cannot make it through the day without a nap, you should consult your doctor for a thyroid test. Hyperthyroidism also typically causes insomnia at night that leaves patients completely exhausted throughout the day. If you are unusually tired, have trouble sleeping and feel that you simply have no energy without any other explanation, this could be a symptom of an over or underactive thyroid and should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible.

Last updated on May 19th, 2011 and filed under Endocrine System. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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