15 Signs and Symptoms Your Thyroid Isn’t Working Right from 15 Signs and Symptoms Your Thyroid Isn’t Working Right

15 Signs and Symptoms Your Thyroid Isn’t Working Right

The thyroid is a small butterfly- shaped gland located on the front of the neck just below the Adam’s apple. It plays a huge role in our body, influencing the function of many of our most important organs. The thyroid releases hormones that have a major impact on our metabolism, among other processes.

About 20 million Americans are affected by a thyroid disease, according to the American Thyroid Association, and women are three times more likely than men to develop hypothyroidism, according to research.

Exhausted All The Time

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“If you feel extremely fatigued all the time, even after a good night's sleep, this is one of the most common signs of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid),” Michelle Roots, owner and personal trainer at CORE Conditioning, says. Some of the best ways to boost your energy include eating green leafy vegetables, going outside in the sun, and chewing peppermint gum.

Your Voice Has Changed

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If your voice has changed and has become hoarse, this may be a sign of thyroid problems. “Your thyroid gland sits just below the larynx (more commonly known as your voice box),” research explains. “A thyroid nodule (which may be thyroid cancer) may be pressing on the voice box, causing hoarseness or voice changes."

Feeling Unusually Down

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“It is believed that an underactive thyroid can also affect the amount of the “feel good” hormone (serotonin) in the brain,” Roots says. According to research by Harvard Health Publications, “when thyroid hormone levels are low, many organs and internal systems slow down, creating a wide range of symptoms — including depression.”

You Feel Anxious

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If you’re feeling jittery and anxious, this may be due to a low production of thyroid hormone, calmclinic.com explains. The thyroid hormone is linked to the regulation of neurotransmitters, and when it’s not working properly these neurotransmitters tend to go haywire, causing anxiety and also frequent panic attacks, the website explains.

You Are Hungry All The Time

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“A result of hyperthyroidism (too much of the thyroid hormone being released) can be increased cravings and hunger (more than usual), which can lead to weight gain,” says Roots. It is normal to feel hungry after exercising or participating in intense physical activity. But feeling like you need more food – and that happens every day for several weeks – may be a sign of diabetes or thyroid abnormalities.

Constipation

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Individuals who suffer from hypothyroidism usually report feeling constipated. “Sluggish, slower or weaker colon contractions can be characteristic of hypothyroidism and are contributing factors to chronic constipation problems in people with hypothyroidism,” verywell.com explains.

You Have High Cholesterol

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Your thyroid hormones control your body’s metabolism, which in turn can affect cholesterol levels. “When thyroid hormone levels are low and TSH levels are increased (hypothyroidism), cholesterol levels are increased,” according to thyroid.org.

Internal Thermostat is Out of Whack

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“An under active thyroid could result in always feeling cold or having chills due to less energy being burned by cells,” Roots says. “Whereas, an overactive thyroid puts energy producing cells into overdrive resulting in feeling too warm or sweating profusely.”

Can't Sleep?

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Hyperthyroidism – overactive thyroid – can lead to an increase in heart rate and anxiety, which will affect your sleep patterns and could make it difficult to fall asleep at night, Roots says.

Your Skin is Dry

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Thyroid issues may affect the sweat and oil producing glands, leading to dry skin, research says. An underactive thyroid slows the metabolic rate and affects the skin’s ability to grow and repair itself while an overactive thyroid increases blood flow to the skin and may result in itchiness, they also explain.

Muscle and Joint Pain

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Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause muscle or joint-related symptoms. However, hypothyroidism specifically may cause the “swelling of muscles, or swelling muscles that are pressing on nerves,” verywell.com explains. This ultimately causes muscle weakness, muscle and joint pain, and stiffness.

Gained or Lost Weight?

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“Those that find they have gained weight suddenly without changing their eating or exercising habits are often diagnosed with hypothyroidism,” Roots says. “However, those that experience sudden drastic weight loss without changing their lifestyle are often diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.”

High Blood Pressure

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If your blood pressure as always remained in a normal range and then you suddenly notice that it has drastically increased, you may have thyroid problems. “When the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) or produces too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism), high blood pressure can result,” the Mayo Clinic explains.

Cold Hands and Feet

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This is an uncomfortable symptom of an underactive thyroid. According to research, “low thyroid activity can be associated with too much homocysteine — an amino acid associated with heart disease, poor blood flow, and stiff vasculature.” They explain that the essential nutrients carried into the blood are not reaching the extremities as frequently. This ultimately results in cold hands and feet.

Hair Thinning or Falling Out?

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Have you noticed your hair thinning or falling out suddenly? “This could be due to an underactive thyroid because a decrease in thyroid hormone can disrupt the hair growth cycle,” Roots says.