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Thyroid Disease Symptoms: Should I Talk To My Doctor?

Thyroid Disease Symptoms: Should I Talk To My Doctor?

Are you worried that you or someone you know could have thyroid disease? Thyroid disease symptoms may easily be mistaken for indicators of other conditions. How do you know when there is something you should get tested for?

What is thyroid disease?

A butterfly-shaped gland, called the thyroid, is located at the bottom of your neck. This gland is in charge of producing hormones that tell your body what needs to be processed. Thyroid hormones usually regulate how quickly you burn calories, or how fast your heartbeat is. When too little or too much thyroid hormones are produced, you may easily feel tired, or suddenly gain or lose weight.

Your thyroid may either be overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism). Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid produces too many hormones, and speeds up your metabolism and heart rate. Your body functions are slowed with hypothyroidism when too many hormones are produced.

Thyroid disease symptoms may develop suddenly or slowly over time. For some people who experience this, symptoms may not be obvious or they could crucially affect daily life.

Thyroid disease symptoms

Spotting thyroid disease symptoms early on could prevent serious complications. If you become aware of the following symptoms, and have been experiencing them for a long time, consult your doctor for testing.

Thyroid disease symptoms: Hypothyroidism

These vary depending on how much hormones you lack. At first, these symptoms may be seen as normal or occasional occurrences. But over time, these may cause more problems.

Look out for these signs to see if you have an underactive thyroid:

  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Involuntary weight gain
  • More sensitive to cold
  • Heart rate is slower
  • Weak muscles
  • Hoarse voice
  • Increase in blood cholesterol levels

Thyroid disease symptoms: Hyperthyroidism

Similar to hypothyroidism symptoms, hyperthyroidism symptoms can develop undetected over time. But in some cases, they can disrupt your normal life.

Here are the most common hyperthyroidism symptoms.

  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Finding it hard to stay still, or hyperactivity
  • Faster heart rate
  • More heat sensitive
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Involuntary weight loss
  • Peeing more often
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling thirsty more often

Thyroid disease symptoms: Symptoms in skin, nails, and hair

Your dermatologist may also see thyroid disease symptoms during your check-up. Thyroid disease symptoms may still show on your skin, nails, and hair.

Below are common symptoms affecting those areas:

  • Skin drying with cracks or scales
  • Too much or too little sweating
  • Rashes
  • Protruding eyes
  • Slower wound healing
  • Brittle nails or hair
  • Swollen face
  • Slower or quicker nail growth

Thyroid Cancer Causes that You Should Know About

What are the possible risks and complications?

Hypothyroidism

Your risk for hypothyroidism increases when you:

  • Are a woman
  • Are older than 60
  • Have a family history of thyroid disease
  • Received thyroid surgery or medication
  • Have had a recent pregnancy

Thyroid problems may lead to heart problems, goiter, mental health problems, infertility, and birth defects if left untreated.

Hyperthyroidism

You are at higher risk for hyperthyroidism when you:

  • Are a woman
  • Have a family history of thyroid disease
  • Have had a recent chronic disease like diabetes

Complications include red and swollen skin, heart problems, and fragile bones.

Treatment

Thyroid disease treatments depend on age, cause, and personal preference.

Doctors may treat hypothyroidism through administered medicine. They may suggest synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine like Levo-T, Synthroid, or others, to treat an underactive thyroid.

Doctors may recommend radioactive iodine, anti-thyroid medications, or surgery for hyperthyroidism. The success of these treatments relies heavily on finding the most effective process depending on your condition or preference.

Key takeaway

Your thyroid produces hormones that help you function normally. However, your thyroid may be overactive (hyperthyroidism) or underactive (hypothyroidism).

If you experience these thyroid disease symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately so they can run tests. By detecting thyroid disease as soon as possible, you can lessen complications.

Learn more about General Health Knowledge here.

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Sources

Could you have a thyroid problem and not know it?, https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/could-you-have-a-thyroid-problem-and-not-know-it

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

Thyroid disease | womenshealth.gov, https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/thyroid-disease

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

Thyroid disease: A checklist of skin, hair, and nail changes, https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/thyroid-disease-skin-changes

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

Hypothyroidism – Symptoms and causes, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20350284

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) – Symptoms, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/overactive-thyroid-hyperthyroidism/symptoms/

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

Hyperthyroidism – Symptoms and causes, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperthyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20373659

Accessed April 20, 2021

 

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Written by Red Ricafort Updated May 22
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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