A Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that produces thyroid hormones to maintain the body’s metabolism. It is located in the center of the neck just below Adam’s apple. It plays an important role in the functioning of many major body organs like brain, heart, kidney, liver and skin.
So, it is essential to keep your thyroid gland healthy to function properly and to maintain overall health. But in certain cases, thyroid disease occurs due to over or under functioning of your thyroid gland, goiters, thyroiditis, thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer which will cause some hormonal and physical changes in your body.
Although the signs and symptoms of this thyroid problem are so common that makes us ignore or misdiagnosed. So, most of the people are suffering from undiagnosed thyroid problems.
Hence, healthy functioning of thyroid glands will give healthy body. So, here we are going to know about the signs and symptoms to recognize the thyroid problem.
1. Feeling Fatigued:
Feeling tired, fatigued or exhausted with a little energy (without even doing a small work) is considered as the signs that associated with thyroid problems. People suffering from hyperthyroidism are unable to have proper sleep at night which in turn leaves them exhausted during the daytime.
People suffering from hypothyroidism will have more sleep at night but even though feel tired throughout the day. Consult your doctor for proper diagnose, if you’re feeling tired or fatigue all the time.
2. Depression and Anxiety:
Depression, anxiety and panic disorder can be a warning sign of a thyroid disorder. Depression is caused due to hypothyroidism whereas panic attacks or anxiety indicates you’re suffering from hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid hormones have a direct impact on the serotonin levels in the brains which control the mood swings and thereby a person gets panic attacks with changes in your thyroid hormones. Also, remember that these symptoms alone are only the reasons that conclude you’re suffering from a thyroid problem.
Consult your doctor to know the exact cause for your depression or panic attacks and thereby go for the treatment accordingly.
3. Sudden Changes in the Weight:
Sudden or unexplained changes in your weight (either weight gain or loss) will be a sign of having a thyroid disorder. Weight gain (even after workouts and diet control) may be due to low levels of thyroid hormones, means suffering from hypothyroidism.
Weight loss may be due to more hormones produced by thyroid glands, means suffering from hyperthyroidism. If you experience the sudden weight changes, then consult your doctor and check your thyroid levels.
4. Excessive Skin Dryness:
Hormones released by the thyroid glands will control the functioning of your skin. When the levels of thyroid hormone are low (hypothyroidism) then your skin becomes pale and dry, less sweating, eczema, brittle nails, scaly or wrinkled skin and edema. If you have an overactive thyroid, the skin becomes itchy and sweaty.
So, visit your dermatologist if you find any unusual changes on your skin for early detection of root cause and thereby treatment accordingly.
5. Menstrual Disorders:
Women face many menstrual problems (like changes in menstrual patterns or irregular periods) and infertility problems due to the underlying thyroid problems.
More frequent, heavier, painful or prolonged periods are caused due to hypothyroidism. Infrequent, lighter or absence of periods are caused due to hyperthyroidism.
So, consult your gynecologist if you suffer from a sudden change in your menstrual cycle, as it can be any underlying symptom for your thyroid problem.
6. Bowel – Related Problems:
If you’re suffering from digestive disorders like diarrhea, constipation, IBS, bloating, etc. then it can also be symptoms of any thyroid problem. Thyroid hormones can interfere with the colon and digestive tract that reduces your body’s ability to digest food, absorb proper nutrients and removes waste.
If the intake of enough fiber intake causing you severe constipation, then it can be a sign of hypothyroidism and whereas IBS or diarrhea is due to hyperthyroidism. So, if you observe any unusual changes in your bowel movement then consult your doctor to get your thyroid checked.
7. Unexplained Hair Fall:
Sudden fall of your hair is associated with thyroid problems (especially due to less production of thyroid hormones). The thyroid hormones will disrupt the growth of your hair cycle and thus causes unexplained hair loss.
Hair loss not only from the scalp but also from outside of the eyebrows and other body parts along with hair becoming dry, coarse and brittle will be considered as the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Thinning hair only on the head along with scalp dryness is caused due to hyperthyroidism. If you’re suffering from sudden hair loss then consult your doctor to check your thyroid and get treatment accordingly.
8. Having a Feel of Too Cold or Hot:
Without any reason, if you feel either too hot or too cold then it might be considered as an underlying sign of your thyroid problem, why because the change in the production of thyroid hormones will regulate the body temperature (cold hands and feet).
Feeling cold is due to underactive thyroid glands (hypothyroidism) and experiencing excessive sweat or unable to tolerate heat is due to overactive thyroid glands (hyperthyroidism).
9. Pain in your Muscles and Joints:
Sudden pain in your muscles and joints along with the feeling of weakness in the legs and arms are considered as an undiagnosed thyroid disorder.
Overactive thyroid gland causes fatigue and muscle weakness which in turn make the sufferer difficult to hold objects in the hands, climb stairs and do any work properly. Underactive thyroid can result in general weakness and pain in the muscles and joints along with carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis in the legs or arms and tarsal tunnel syndrome.
10. Hoarse Voice and Discomfort in the Neck:
Hoarse voice, a slight protrusion or bulge in the thyroid area, snoring or any other discomforts in and around the thyroid area are considered as a sign of having a thyroid problem.
Pain or discomfort in the neck is caused due to thyroiditis (inflamed thyroid). Swelling and enlarged thyroid gland is due to goiter which in turn caused due to hypo or hyperthyroidism. So, consult your doctor if you’re experiencing these discomforts to get rid of any thyroid disorder.
11. Brain Fog (or) Loss of Memory:
We came to know that thyroid hormones will help in the functioning of your heart, brain and other organs of the body but if the thyroid is not functioning properly (underactive thyroid), then some people behave like a brain fog with subtle memory loss or overall mental fatigue. The overactive thyroid will make the people difficult to concentrate.
Although family history can also be considered as the cause for getting thyroid problem, consult your doctor to find out the exact root cause before getting late.