If you’ve ever looked up a list of symptoms of thyroid disease, you were probably shocked to see how long that list was.
There are symptoms, such as fatigue and weight gain for hypothyroidism and anxiety and weight loss for hyperthyroidism, which are well-known and considered to be the most common. But did you know that symptoms can vary from person-to-person and there are many that you may not have suspected?
Here’s a list of 12 surprising symptoms associated with thyroid disease.
Symptoms of anxiety are common among patients with hyperthyroidism, but you may not know that it is also common in some hypothyroidism patients, especially those with the autoimmune form, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Hashimoto’s mistakes your thyroid for a foreign invader and creates antibodies to attack it. These attacks can lead to anxiety or even panic attacks. Inflammation and diet can also contribute to symptoms of anxiety in thyroid patients.
Brain fog is an inability to concentrate or forgetfulness that can plague thyroid patients, especially those with hypothyroidism. The slowdown of the thyroid affects many functions in the body, including in the brain.
If your body is not producing enough thyroid hormones or converting them into energy properly, then your thought process can be affected. Brain fog can lead to frustration in trying to handle and complete everyday tasks that used to be considered routine.
That same slow down and lack of energy caused by hypothyroidism can also lead to depression. In some cases, a hypothyroid diagnosis can be missed at first because it’s masked by symptoms of depression. If you struggle with depression, anxiety or any form of mental illness, make sure your doctor tests you for thyroid disease, because it may be the cause of mood issues.
Your digestive system can be impacted by thyroid health in different ways. Patients with hyperthyroidism, can suffer from diarrhea and abdominal cramps due to too much thyroid hormone in their system. Those with hypothyroidism tend to deal with a slow digestive system leading to problems with constipation.
In more serious cases, illnesses such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and can develop. Getting these issues diagnosed and treated will also greatly help in treating your thyroid issues.
Under-active thyroid is also likely to cause dry skin. Patients can suffer with it from head (dry, flaky scalp) to toe (dry and cracked feet) and everywhere in between. Dry skin can be one of the early symptoms of hypothyroidism and is another sign to look for.
Have you ever noticed your ankles swelling and aren’t sure why? Hypothyroidism leads to a slow-down of your lymphatic system which can cause swelling or water retention. Swelling of hands, feet, abdomen and even face are all common symptoms.
Your digestive system is slowed by hypothyroidism, which can lead to acid reflux and heartburn. A lack of stomach acid could be to blame. Also, a sensitivity to gluten or other foods, which is common with hypothyroidism, could be the cause.
The inability to tolerate cold weather, to the point where you are shaking even when bundled up in the winter is another symptom of hypothyroidism. You may notice that your hands and feet are frequently cold, and it can be difficult to warm them up due to decreased circulation.
Hyperthyroid patients will feel the opposite, being sensitive to hot weather. They can suffer from feeling flushed and possibly experience hot flashes.
Thyroid Disease can also cause irregular periods or changes in menstrual flow for women. Hypothyroidism may cause heavier or longer lasting periods. With hyperthyroidism, you may miss periods, or they may be lighter. In both cases, periods may be irregular.
There is also the possibility of fertility issues with thyroid disease.
An imbalance of thyroid hormones can also lead to joint pain or muscle pain and weakness throughout the body. The locations may vary but are thought to be most common in the shoulder and hip areas. Cramping can also be a problem, as well as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which can be linked to hypothyroidism.
A very frustrating symptom for women with thyroid disease can be thinning hair and hair loss. Working with your doctor and possibly a nutritionist can help you slow, stop and hopefully reverse hair loss due to thyroid issues.
One other tell-tale symptom of hypothyroidism is a thinning of your eyebrows, especially on the outer third of your eye.
Inflammation or swelling of the thyroid gland can cause tightness to occur in your throat. It may feel like when you wear a turtleneck or a tight collar on your shirt. You may also notice a difficulty swallowing at times.
These are just twelve of the many symptoms of thyroid disease. If you have persistent symptoms as described above or others that your doctor can’t explain, be sure to get a full panel of thyroid tests to see if that could be the cause.
Many times, thyroid issues go initially undiagnosed because symptoms can be deceptive or associated with other health problems. It’s always a good idea to be sure your thyroid is functioning properly and seek proper medical care if it isn’t.
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