10 Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Did you know that your thyroid helps regulate your heart rate, body temperature, and metabolism? Hypothyroidism is very common, with more than 3 million cases diagnosed each year in the United States. Typically, hypothyroidism affects older women.
Hypothyroidism is where your thyroid is underactive. Your thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone to keep you going. Hypothyroidism can be caused by an autoimmune disease, thyroid removal, radiation, and other factors.
Symptom 1: Fatigue
Are you tired of feeling tired all the time? Have no energy? Fatigue is a symptom of hypothyroidism, and it can be debilitating.
Hypothyroidism can make you feel restless and cause sleep deprivation. And no matter how much sleep you get, it is never enough. However, medications can help control and manage your fatigue.
Symptom 2: Cold Sensitivity
Do you feel cold all the time? Do you have to wear a sweater during the summer? Feel chills and goosebumps? The thyroid is your body’s thermostat.
Because hypothyroidism means not enough of the thyroid hormone is produced, you experience a sensitivity to cold temperatures, that are not necessarily so cold to others.
Symptom 3: Constipation
Do you feel bloated? About to explode? Hypothyroidism can cause constipation due to a decrease in the thyroid hormone. Without the regular amount of the thyroid hormone, your body slows down – including your digestive tract!
According to HypothyroidMom, “The muscles contract to move the stool through the intestine to the rectum. Hypothyroidism can weaken the contraction of these muscles causing the stool to move too slowly.”
Symptom 4: Dry Skin
Is your skin dry? Flaky? Itchy? Cracked? Pale? Cold? Scaly? A bit yellow in tone? Dry skin is common with hypothyroidism.
Try using a good moisturizer, especially made out of coconut oil. Also, your fingernails may become brittle due to your dry skin and hypothyroidism.
Symptom 5: Weight Gain
When you have hypothyroidism, you may gain weight. This is usually because of excess salt and water building up in your body. Expect to gain about 5-10 pounds.
You can try to lose the weight by staying hydrated, exercising, and cleaning up your diet.
Symptom 6: Mood Swings
Are you anxious? Irritable? Depressed? Trouble remembering things? Get mad at your boyfriend for anything and everything? Cry for no reason?
You are not crazy. Hypothyroidism can cause major mood swings. Medications can help you manage and control your mental and emotional health.
Symptom 7: Lethargy
You are drained and feel like doing nothing. That is part of hypothyroidism.
Try making healthy life and diet choices, getting enough sleep, and take prescribe medications.
Symptom 8: Hair Loss
Yes, men commonly lose some of their hair. But for women, this can be especially devastating. Your hair can serve as a barometer of your overall health. Hormonal changes, likes those associated with hypothyroidism, can cause hair loss.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “Nearly half of all adults in the U.S. will experience thinning hair by age 40. But thyroid patients, in particular, often experience hair loss earlier and more rapidly than usual.”
Symptom 9: High Cholesterol
Your diet of chicken tenders and fries may be the reason for your high cholesterol. Or is your thyroid the actual culprit?
Too much or too little of the thyroid hormone can change your cholesterol levels. According to Healthline, “Your body doesn’t break down and remove LDL cholesterol as efficiently as usual. LDL cholesterol can then build up in your blood. Thyroid hormone levels don’t have to be very high to increase cholesterol. Even people with mildly low thyroid levels, called subclinical hypothyroidism, can have higher than normal LDL cholesterol.”
Symptom 10: Enlarged Thyroid
Those with hypothyroidism may notice a bump or bulge near their throat when they look in the mirror. This is sometimes referred to as a goiter or could be an enlarged thyroid.
Due to a decreased level of the thyroid hormone, hypothyroidism can generate more TSH to stimulate your thyroid, but only to enlarge our thyroid.