Thyroid problem news from Thyroid Talk
Symptoms of Thyroid Problems
One of the problems many people have with looking for symptoms of thyroid problems, of course, is that very few of them appear to have any connection at all with the thyroid itself. Only those people whose thyroid is actually swollen and perhaps causing breathing difficulties will link what they are experiencing to the small butterfly shaped gland itself.
Combine this with the very different symptoms associated with an overactive and an underactive thyroid and the situation becomes even more clouded.
However, undiagnosed thyroid problems can often lead to quite dramatic complications so it is vital that the various symptoms are recognised and, more importantly, acted upon.
If it continues to be undiagnosed, and therefore untreated, an underactive thyroid – hypothyroidism – can significantly increase a person’s chances of suffering from heart disease or depression. In addition, obesity is far more common and difficult to counter. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid has become underactive and consequently the rate of the body’s metabolism has slowed down; the slower the metabolism becomes, the more pronounced the symptoms.
The following symptoms will not be experienced by all sufferers; but they are some of the indicators that there might be a problem with an underactive thyroid.
First of all, if you experience difficulty in losing weight or are actually gaining weight and all attempts to remedy the situation – diet, exercise and so on – are proving fruitless, this can be a significant sign of hypothyroidism. In a similar way, it could be that, without any change in your lifestyle, your weight begins to fluctuate significantly – either up or down. This can be very disconcerting but is quite a common symptom.
Unexplained depressive moodswings or random memory lapses and forgetfulness are also quite common. The tendency here, as with many symptoms of thyroid problems, is to just blame things on the ageing process and treat them as inevitable ‘senior moments’ – in which case, the problem remains undiagnosed for longer.
Exactly the same preconception often occurs with the more physical problems of muscle and joint pains, sudden onsets of tendonitis and feeling constantly tired even after a good night’s sleep. The danger of simply putting these things down to age is that the longer the problem remains undiagnosed, the more severe it is likely to become.
Other possible indicators that a person could have an underactive thyroid include heavier and more frequent and painful periods; changes in the condition of your hair and skin; a slower than usual heart beat; severe constipation; the development of a more hoarse voice; and sometimes an increasing tendency to feel cold at times when others do not.
When the thyroid becomes overactive – hyperthyroidism – and the rate of the body’s metabolism speeds up as opposed to slows down, the following symptoms might be noticeable.
From a psychological point of view you might find increased difficulty in concentrating on things, or suffer from unexpected mood swings – even perhaps panic attacks. Physically, you could notice a rapid, or perhaps irregular, heartbeat. You might sweat excessively or your hands might start to tremble unaccountably. You might have shorter, lighter periods; suffer from diarrhoea or irritable bowel syndrome; experience severe hair loss; insomnia which means you feel tired and lack energy during the day; irritated or puffy eyes – often the onset of Grave’s disease; or, very significantly, you could suffer from weight loss despite having what you consider to be an increased appetite.
Finally, it is known that having a family history of thyroid problems is going to put people at a higher risk of themselves developing the condition.
Suffering from some of the above symptoms of thyroid problems should initiate a visit to the doctor for a thorough diagnosis.