If you notice that you have some of the following symptoms, seek help immediately! When we feel something strange in our bodies, usually we think that’s just an allergy, cold, or age.
Although sometimes you might be right, there are more chances than you actually think that these “innocent” health issues can indicate bigger medical health problems.
For example, lightheadedness in women can indicate heart disease.
This is the reason why we should always pay attention to the messages sent by our bodies, like when we experience thyroid issues.
Although the thyroid is just a small gland in the throat, it has a vital function for our body- it produces the thyroid hormone (TH) which controls the heartbeat, temperature, and metabolism.
If there’s some sudden problem with our thyroid gland, it can cause one of the following things: (1) it can become overactive thus producing too much of the thyroid hormone, or (2) it can slow down the production and produce too little of the thyroid hormone.
Scroll down and see which are the early warning symptoms of thyroid problems, most of which is often underestimated.
The Look of a Thyroid Gland
This butterfly-shaped gland is located in the front of the neck, and it’s highlighted in red in the picture.
You are probably surprised to see that such a small part of your body has so much influence.
Overactive thyroid produces excess thyroid hormone, resulting in hyperthyroidism.
In contrast, if it becomes under-active, it’ll produce too little amount of the hormone, resulting in hypothyroidism.
1st Symptom- Feeling Sad or Depressed
Mayo Clinic considers that an under-or over-active thyroid gland can completely change your mood. Too much thyroid hormone can cause restlessness, anxiety, and irritability.
On the other hand, too little of this hormone can influence the levels of dopamine- the happy hormone in our brain, causing sad feelings and even depression.
2nd Symptom- Constipation
Longer constipation can be caused by a disruption in the production of thyroid hormone, resulting in slower digestion.
Healthline, an integrative medicine specialist, stated that constipation is among the 3 most common hypothyroidism symptoms.
3rd Symptom: Too Much Sleeping
Although occasionally we all have a hard time getting out of bed, if you notice it’s getting unbearable, consider it as a wake-up call.
An under-active thyroid gland can slow down bodily functions, so you might feel sleepy at any point of the day, even during mid-day.
4th Symptom- Dry Skin and Hair Loss
If your skin is dry and itchy and the winter hasn’t come yet, you might have hypothyroidism. The slowed metabolism alters the skin texture and lowers the sweating.
Lower production of thyroid hormone can cause dry and brittle hair and nails, and sometimes even hair loss.
This is because the hair growth cycle has been interrupted by the lack of this hormone, resulting in hair loss, on some occasions even outside of the eyebrows.
Dr. Miller says that most of his patients come to seek help from their hairdresser’s advice, making them more aware of the problems with the thyroid gland than some doctors.
5th Symptom- Sudden Weight Gain
According to WebMD, weight gain can be caused by various factors, but if it’s sudden, it should concern you.
This is the most common reason why people consult Dr. Miller. They come with the concern that although they aren’t eating more than normal, and they are exercising, still they keep gaining weight and they can’t lose it.
She says that in most cases it turns out to occur as a result of an under-active thyroid.
6th Symptom- No Sexual Interest
As Medical News Today explains, thyroid hormone deficiency leads to low libido.
Moreover, the lack of sexual desire is further caused by the other symptoms of problems with the thyroid, such as hair loss, weight gain, and body aches.
7th Symptom Muscular Pain or Tightening
Problems such as soreness in arm muscles due to some new exercise, or pain in our toe if we stub it, are completely normal with a logical explanation.
However, if you feel sudden and random numbness and tightening in your hands, arms, feet, and legs, consider that you might have a problem with the thyroid gland.
Dr. Miller explains that a lack of TH can harm the nerves which transmit signals from the brain to the rest of the body.
8th Symptom -Fluttering Heart
We might feel a little pitter-patter in our hearts when we fall in love.
Nevertheless, the problem with the thyroid gland causes different flutter.
You can feel a more pronounced flutter in the pulse points of your wrist and neck as if your heart skips a beat or two.
If you have this symptom, it may mean you have heart palpitations, indicating that there’s too much of the thyroid hormone in your system.
9th Symptom- Fuzzy Head
Along with ages, your brain might feel a bit fuzzy. However, if this condition suddenly gets more intense, you might have a problem with the thyroid gland.
Over-production of TH can cause concentration problems, whereas the under-production of TH can cause forgetfulness.
Dr. Miller explains that when doctors treat hypothyroidism patients, they are shocked by the speed that the fog in their brain disappears, and how much sharper they claim to feel afterward.
She continues to say that women relate this problem to menopause, although it’s a problem with their thyroid gland.
10th Symptom- High Blood Pressure
You should check your thyroid gland if you can’t resolve your problem with high blood pressure naturally, but only with medicine.
Lack of thyroid hormone can lead to increased bad cholesterol, which can cause heart failure or an enlarged heart.
11th Symptom- Changes in Tastebuds or Increased Appetite
Are things suddenly tasting different? According to Health.com, a lack of thyroid hormone can mess with your senses of smell and taste. Whereas, if you have increased appetite, it can be a result of hyperthyroidism.
This condition can cause a balance of all the consumed calories, which means even though you’ll constantly eat, you won’t gain any weight.
Women might think this is perfect, but it’s actually a serious concern that requires a doctor’s appointment.
12th Symptom- Throat or Neck Discomfort
Since the location of your thyroid gland is in your neck, you might feel physical pain in that area. Sighs of a thyroid disorder can be a change in the voice, a lump in your throat, or a goiter.
In case you feel some of these symptoms, check your neck to see if there are any swellings. Medical News gives instructions on how to further investigate your thyroid gland. Look at your neck in the lower front area below the voice box and above the collarbones, with the help of a mirror.
Once you’ve set your eyes on this area, tip your head back and drink a sip of water. While swallowing, check for any protrusions or bulges in this area.
Remember not to confuse the thyroid gland with Adam’s apple. You can repeat this process couple of times. AACE Thyroid Awareness advises that in case you notice such protrusions and bulges, you should consult a doctor.
It’s possible you have a thyroid nodule or an enlarged thyroid gland that should be checked in order to be concluded if further evaluation is required.