7 Signs You May Have Thyroid Problems
In general, the thyroid is a little gland that controls an individual’s metabolism by generating hormones. Health problems can ensue if this gland overproduces a specific substance. When this case happens, this is what medical experts call hyperthyroidism.
On the other hand, when the gland generates hormones below their usual level, they’ll suffer from hypothyroidism. While there are symptoms that can signify the imbalance, medical experts project that roughly 13 million individuals in the United States have undetected thyroid issues.
Who Can Acquire Thyroid Problems?
Anyone can acquire thyroid problems–babies, male, female, adolescents, or senior citizens. The condition can exist during birth, as in the case of hypothyroidism. Or, people can develop the disorder as they get older.
For women, it usually happens after menopause. Keep in mind that females are five to eight times more likely to acquire the medical condition than males. Moreover, you have a higher chance of acquiring the disease if you have the following:
- Family history of thyroid problems
- You’re 60 years old and above, especially females
- You’re taking prescription medicine high in iodine (e.g., Amiodarone)
- You have a medical disorder (e.g., lupus, Turner syndrome, pernicious anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, primary adrenal insufficiency, and type 1 diabetes)
- You previously underwent treatment for cancer or thyroid issue (e.g., radiation and thyroidectomy)
Please note, though, that there’s no such thing as a specific symptom or a group of symptoms that’ll result in an actual prognosis of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. The two conditions can impact similar body parts or systems but in varied ways. To help you better understand this medical disorder, here are seven signs you may have thyroid problems:
1. Body Weight Transformation
Do you experience unexplainable weight changes? If so, it can be a symptom of thyroid issues.
- Hyperthyroidism: You may drop your body weight while eating normally. Or, you may still lose weight despite reinforcing your calorie intake.
- Hypothyroidism: An individual may still be putting on weight or fail to reduce weight despite intensifying workouts and lessening calorie intake.
However, keep in mind that individuals can still have hyperthyroidism even when they can’t lose their extra weight despite following a strict diet and exercise. Or, you can always be hypothyroid, but you’re underweight, or you’re having difficulty gaining weight.
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2. Mental Health Issues
Medical experts found that mood disorders, depression, and anxiety have links with thyroid conditions.
- Hyperthyroidism: An individual may encounter panic attacks, disorders, and anxiety.
- Hypothyroidism: A person may be undergoing depression or showing depression symptoms but doesn’t respond well to the antidepressant medication.
3. Severe Exhaustion & Sleeping Troubles
Additionally, severe exhaustion and sleep problems are frequent complaints of patients with thyroid problems. Sometimes, the issue is so immense that it affects even their daily routine.
- Hyperthyroidism: People report experiencing trouble sleeping, waking up numerous times during the night, or dealing with anxiety or a pounding heart at night.
- Hypothyroidism: A person can still feel tired after sleeping for more than eight hours. Or, on some days, one will require long sessions of sleep or nap time.
4. Bowel Symptoms
Meanwhile, you may think your digestive problems don’t relate to any thyroid issues. However, gastrointestinal symptoms are familiar to people with thyroid disorders.
- Hyperthyroidism: Patients may experience irritable bowel syndrome or diarrhea.
- Hypothyroidism: People can suffer long-term constipation that doesn’t react to medications.
5. Cognitive Issues
On the one hand, a condition common with hypothyroidism patients is ‘brain fog.’ These are cognitive symptoms that may entail:
- Trouble focusing
- Experiencing mental lapses
- Long- and short-term memory issues
- Problem thinking clearly
6. Temperature Problems
People with both types of thyroid conditions state that they experience temperature sensitivity.
- Hyperthyroidism: Patients feel sweaty and warm even if the surrounding has an average temperature.
- Hypothyroidism: People may be oversensitive to cold climates.
7. Throat or Neck Disorder
Lastly, physicians link the following signs with hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroid cancer, goiter, autoimmune thyroid disease, and nodules:
- Jaw and ear tenderness
- Swollen neck
- Irritation in breathing or swallowing
- A raspy or gravelly voice
- A feeling of discomfort around the neck
Often, neck inflammation is a common sign of thyroid problems. However, it can likewise signal severe medical issues, such as infections, cancers, or neurological disorders. In case you suffer from an enlarged neck, consult your doctor immediately.
If you have any of the symptoms shown above, consult your primary healthcare provider. Doctors will provide a complete physical examination, assess your symptoms, and request a blood test to determine your thyroid levels.
Nonetheless, understand that most cases of thyroid issues, such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, are disorders that physicians can treat effectively. While most people prefer following a natural treatment program, discuss the matter with your physician and see if the plan will fit your lifestyle.
About the author:
Briana Sharpe is a full-time blogger who regularly creates and publishes content on health and wellness. Briana covers a wide variety of health-related topics – from teaching readers how to prepare healthy meals from scratch to giving tips on how they can effortlessly incorporate exercise to their daily routines.
Aside from writing high-quality articles about health and wellness, Briana also publishes workout videos and cooking tutorials on her blog.
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