Your thyroid works hard to keep your metabolism moving and your heart beating steady. Like most organs when something is wrong, it will let you know if there is a problem. However your thyroid tends to be quite subtle when it comes to sending messages. Most symptoms of a thyroid disorder are ignored or mistaken for another condition.
There are two main classifications of thyroid disorders. Hypothyroidism results from a drop in the production of thyroid hormone. Symptoms characteristic of hypothyroidism are sluggishness, weight gain, and low blood pressure.
On the other hand, hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid overproduces the thyroid hormone. Symptoms that may signal an overactive thyroid include trouble sleeping, increased anxiety, and weight loss although you may have an increased appetite. There are many different causes for these types of thyroid disorders, and if left untreated they can lead to other serious complications.
About one in eight women will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime, so it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a sluggish or speedy thyroid. While noticing one or two of these symptoms on their own may not be a sign of a thyroid disorder, if you have two or more that seem to persist, then it may be time to consult with your physician.
Your doctor can run the needed tests to determine if your thyroid is producing too little or too much thyroid hormone, or, determine if something else is the cause of your symptoms. Do not take these symptoms lightly if they seem to be upsetting your everyday routines.
While depression can be a beast to wrangle on its own, it may also be a signal that your thyroid is out of sync. Note: depression can also show up with anxiety.
If you’re worried you may be depressed and also experiencing several of the following symptoms, checking your thyroid may help treat the underlying cause for all.
2. Irregular Sleep Patterns
We’ve all had nights where we toss and turn before getting to sleep, or even mornings where it was difficult to get up. However, sudden changes in the way you sleep may signal a change in your body’s production of the thyroid hormone.
For those who can usually get a full night’s rest but suddenly find it difficult to get out of bed, a slow thyroid may be to blame.
3. Weight Changes
No matter what you do, you seem to be gaining weight, or you’re losing weight although your appetite is up. Weight gain is a sign of an underacting thyroid, while an overactive thyroid will cause you to lose weight.
Your thyroid controls how fast your metabolism moves so any changes in weight loss or gain reflect the condition it’s in.
4. Brain Fog
The thyroid also plays a role on how well the brain functions. Brain fog can be described as a muddy feeling of forgetfulness or an inability to concentrate.
Those who may have an under-active thyroid may have a harder time recalling memories versus those with an overactive thyroid who are finding it hard to concentrate on tasks at hand.
Brain fog is a common symptom of other conditions so be careful to note when it occurs.
5. Irregular Bowel Habits
Since the thyroid controls metabolism, you can expect changes in bowel habits should things go wrong. However the way things move could give you a clue of your thyroid troubles.
Those who experience frequent constipation may be dealing with a sluggish thyroid, while those who may have to make more frequent trips to the restroom could be experiencing hyperthyroidism.
6. Hair and Skin Problems
While it’s normal to lose a few strands of hair a day, a thyroid imbalance may lead to more than usual hair fall in a day. Because the thyroid controls hair growth and supplies blood flow to the skin. those with imbalances may notice drier skin than usual or severe hair loss.
Don’t be surprised if your stylist notices before you do and recommends you consult your physician about your thyroid – they’re usually the first to notice.
7. Blood Pressure Changes
High blood pressure should always be treated under a physician’s care and should never be ignored. On the flip side, while low blood pressure may be good, as a side effect of a thyroid disorder it could have severe consequences of ignored.
If you experience any unexplained changes in blood pressure talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
Anxiety may be a sign of hyperthyroidism and may be accompanied by tremors and an inability to concentrate. As mentioned above, depression and anxiety sometimes go hand-in-hand. If you find yourself feeling anxious when you otherwise were not, it may be time to check your thyroid.
An overactive thyroid and fast metabolism may be throwing you into overdrive rather than anything to be anxious or nervous about.
9. Changes in Menstruation
It would stand that any change in hormones would affect a woman’s menstrual cycle. However, keeping an eye on this thyroid signal could take time.
Women who begin to experience periods that occur closer together, last longer, and are heavier may not be producing enough thyroid hormone. Those with short, far apart, and light monthly flows may be dealing with and overactive thyroid.
10. Perception of Temperatures
Those who are dealing with a thyroid problem may find that they perceive temperatures differently than others around them. They may be warm when everyone else is cold or vice versa. Sometimes you might pass off those feelings as just the way you are, but much more could be at play.
If you always seem cold, you may have a sluggish thyroid on your hands. However, if you’re the kind of person who always needs a fan on when everyone else seems cool, an overactive thyroid may be to blame.