12 signs of an unhealthy thyroid gland
Date of publication: 21 May 2021
Disorders in the thyroid gland can unsettle habitual life of any person regardless of gender, age and lifestyle. Therefore, it is so important to know the first signs of diseases of the endocrine system. The symptoms that you are used to and do not pay attention to can be life-threatening.
The thyroid gland is an organ that is located on the front side of the neck. Its shape reminds the shape of a butterfly. The thyroid gland affects the nervous system, digestion, bone tissue and the reproductive system.
The thyroid gland produces three types of hormones. If the synthesis of even one of them is disrupted, serious changes - failures - arise in the work of the body. Failures are possible for various reasons: due to medications, viral infections, weakened immunity, lack of iodine, pregnancy and postpartum condition. It also happens that people are born with an already weak thyroid gland.
Failures include both low and high hormone production. If you shut your eyes to the problem, it can lead to serious consequences: heart diseases, difficulties with pregnancy and childbirth, and even coma.
Sometimes even mild symptoms can warn of serious failures. To prevent the disease, it is important to pay attention to the following symptoms and signs in time.
1. In the family, someone already has / had problems with the thyroid gland
If your close relatives - parents, grandparents, siblings - suffer from thyroid diseases, the risk increases. Besides, the family history of autoimmune diseases - rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis – increases the likelihood of developing such diseases.
2. Muscle pain even without serious physical load
Disorders of the thyroid gland can lead to unpleasant sensations in the muscles. So, in hypothyroidism - a deficit of thyroid hormones – pains in muscle and joints, muscle cramps, a feeling of tension, swelling may appear. One of the signs of hypothyroidism is a constant manifestation of carpal tunnel syndrome - pain, tingling and numbness in the fingers, wrist and forearm.
If the thyroid gland produces excessive amount of hormones (hyperthyroidism), such problems as decreased muscle tone, constant fatigue, difficulties with simple actions such as stair climbing, grasping objects with your hand, lifting limbs may appear.
3. Discomfort in the neck
If the neck swells, increases in size, it becomes difficult for you to breathe, you have difficulty with swallowing, and your voice becomes hoarse, it is most likely that the thyroid gland has increased or there are compactions – nodules - in it. You can also feel discomfort when wearing clothes with a high collar.
4. Weight change
You follow a low-calorie diet, exercise regularly, but the weight remains the same or even increases? This problem can be a sign of hypothyroidism. In hyperthyroidism, on the contrary, weight can decrease even in increased nourishment. By the way, this is the sign that doctors pay attention to first of all. A person can lose weight dramatically when the hormone level becomes higher than normal. In this case, the weight will decrease, even with more enhanced nourishment.
A low level of hormones, on the contrary, leads to extra kilograms. Metabolism slows down, and the body accumulates calories in the form of fat deposits. In this situation, diets and fitness are powerless, it will be possible to lose weight only after treatment, when the endocrine profile returns to normal values.
5. No energy and constant sleepiness
Chronic fatigue, drowsiness, feeling unrested even after 8-10 hours of sleep - may be the signs of hypothyroidism. In hyperthyroidism, in addition, there are problems with falling asleep and insomnia, which, in turn, leads to drowsiness and decreased performance during the day.
6. Mood deterioration
Depressive symptoms, increased anxiety, sudden manifestations of panic are also the signs of thyroid dysfunction. Thus, the development of hypothyroidism is usually accompanied by worsened mood, a decrease in performance and by depression, while hyperthyroidism – by increased anxiety and panic attacks.
In diseases of the thyroid gland, antidepressants may be ineffective. The fact is that hormones regulate the nervous system, so the mood depends on their level. Signs of thyroid disorders also include apathy, tearfulness, emotional excitability and aggressive behavior.
7. The hair has become thinner, and the skin – drier
Hair and nails are sensitive to hormonal disorders. In such disorders, they become weak and thin, break easily and fall out. This also relates to eyebrows and eyelashes. Severe hair loss can lead to baldness. But as a rule, the hairline is restored as soon as the hormone level is adjusted and returned to normal.
Constant dryness, as well as thickening and peeling of the skin is another sign of a deficit of thyroid hormones. Peeling is especially pronounced on the elbows and knees. Rash, irritation or inflammation may appear. These problems are not solved by changing beauty care products or consulting a cosmetologist.
8. Digestion and stool are not in order
Thyroid hormones also regulate metabolism and the digestive tract. Thus, hormone imbalance leads to weakening of the muscles compressing the colon, as a result they stop moving the stool. Consequently, constipation, diarrhea and painful sensations appear. Diarrhea provokes weight loss, so these two signs can be present together.
A symptom of hypothyroidism may be a prolonged constipation, which is not treated with diets and special means. Diarrhea, frequent soft or loose stools, irritable bowel syndrome, lasting for a long time without an obvious cause, are associated with hyperthyroidism.
9. Menstrual disorders
Menstrual disorders include irregular menstruation periods, scanty, rare discharge, cycle shortening or too frequent bleeding. Painful menstruations may also indicate the disorders in the thyroid gland, especially if there was no pain earlier. Women with hyperthyroidism note that menstruations come less often and become shorter, up to complete cessation. Endocrine diseases increase the risk of infertility and complications during pregnancy.
If the case is an isolated one, the reason for it may be stress or overwork, however, in even in this situation it is not worth delaying a visit to the doctor.
10. Cholesterol levels are not reduced by diets or medications
High cholesterol is a common problem even among the young. Usually the reason for this disbalance is poor nutrition, overweight, sedentary lifestyle. As a rule, the problem is solved by means of a healthy diet, physical activity and special medications. If these measures do not help, the cause of high cholesterol in the blood may be thyroid dysfunction. The same can be said about the cases when the cholesterol level in the blood abruptly becomes too low.
11. Changes in body temperature
Hormonal disbalance may disrupt the ability of the body to regulate temperature. Patients suffering from thyroid diseases note in staying in the same room with other people, they feel chilly while others feel warm or hot. Other patients, on the contrary, feel very hot. The more hormones are produced by the thyroid gland, the higher the body temperature.
For some people, the usual body temperature may be slightly lower or higher than normal. In this case, do not worry. However, if your temperature has changed dramatically and has been different from normal for a long time, this may signal hormonal disorders.
12. Change in heart rate
A faster or slower heartbeat may also be the evidence of disorders in the endocrine system. Blood pressure changes, it can raise or decrease sharply. Thus, even a simple physical activity causes shortness of breath and rapid pulse. In this case, it is better not to postpone a visit to a cardiologist and endocrinologist, since this symptom can provoke tachycardia and heart failure.
The symptoms of thyroid diseases have much in common with the signs of other diseases. However, if you discover several of the symptoms described above, do not delay the visit to the doctor. Undiagnosed thyroid disorders can dramatically increase the risk of obesity, heart diseases, sexual dysfunction and other very serious and dangerous conditions.
Please note, important information!
Self-medication can cause irreparable harm to your health!
If you are not a medical professional:
If you are not a medical professional:
- Information posted on MedElement site and in mobile applications "MedElement", "Lekar Pro", "Dariger Pro", "Diseases: General practitioner’s reference book", cannot and should not replace an in-person consultation with a physician. Be sure to contact medical institutions if you have any diseases or symptoms that bother you.
- The choice of medicines and their dosage should be discussed with a specialist. Only a physician can prescribe the necessary medicine and its dosage, taking into account the disease and the patient's condition
- MedElement site and mobile applications "MedElement", "Lekar Pro", "Dariger Pro", "Diseases: General practitioner’s reference book" are exclusively information and reference resources. The information posted here should not be used to unauthorized changes in the physician's prescription.
- MedElement editors shall bear no responsibility for any damage to health or financial damage resulting from the use of this site