For years, signs of thyroid trouble have shown a tendency to creep up on women of all ages. This is because women are five times more susceptible than men to develop thyroid disorders. Despite this, there are still plenty of women who are ignorant about this condition.
What Is Your Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that is in the front of your neck and its job is to produce hormones which control various bodily functions.
If your thyroid does not function the way it’s supposed to, this can result in health issues that will affect your life. As it plays a key role in your well-being, it is important to know how to identify the signs of thyroid trouble.
How to Identify Signs of Thyroid Trouble
1. Always Feeling Tired
Your thyroid glands actually control your metabolism, which in turn affects your weight, as well as energy storage and usage. If the gland is not functional, you might notice yourself feeling tired all the time, despite getting quality sleep the night before.
2. Mood Swings
When your thyroid gland over- or under-produces hormones needed to regulate metabolism, you might experience some mood swings, anxiety and in worst case scenarios, depression.
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An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) has been found to cause constipation. But while you complain about that, an overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism might actually be worse and send you to the loo for loose stools multiple times in a day.
4. Sweating for No Reason
The body gets confused when the thyroid is not producing enough hormones to regulate body energy production, resulting in sweating at random times. As weird as it sounds, you might even feel warm when the room is actually really cold!
5. Weight Issues Are Signs of Thyroid Trouble
Weight gain is always linked to an under-performing thyroid and is a common symptom of thyroid problems.
But don’t let the numbers on the weighing scale upset you if you’re not seriously overweight, because counting body fat percentage is actually much more accurate.
6. Change in Appetite
Other signs of thyroid trouble include a change in how you taste certain foods. When your body doesn’t function as it should, it is not be able to send the right signals as to which nutrients it needs.
7. Hair Loss
If you’ve already shown signs of thyroid trouble from long before, chances are you might suffer hair loss according to the British Thyroid Foundation. This happens when the body is confused and goes into conservation mode then decides to redirect resources to all the wrong parts of the body.
8. Aches, Pain and Soreness
Thyroid issues can be painful, especially if you suffer from arthritis because thyroid malfunction can make it worse. Other pains include muscle ache, tenderness and stiffness. In severe thyroid cases, the ache can get pretty bad in the neck area where the thyroid is located.
9. Lumps in the Neck Area
If you start feeling lumps in your neck, these could be signs of thyroid trouble. But do get them checked out by a medical practitioner because it could end up to be a goitre, which is an enlarged but perfectly normal thyroid, or it could just be a case of enlarged lymph nodes.
10. Dry Skin
If you suffer from hypothyroidism, it is possible your body might not sweat enough. When your skin lacks much-needed moisture this can result in dry, flaky, or itchy skin.
11. High Blood Pressure
Whether your thyroid produces too much or too little, both conditions can result in high blood pressure. However according to the America Heart Association, further research is needed to determine what actually causes the blood pressure to rise.
12. Changes to Your Menstrual Cycle
Other signs of thyroid trouble also include sudden changes in the menstrual cycle, although this might not be the direct cause of thyroid hormone production.
Signs of Thyroid Trouble: What Should You Do?
First, seek professional help to get the right diagnosis. Do not decide for yourself after reading up symptoms of thyroid problems in forums or on the internet.
A lot of these symptoms are similar to other health issues as well and can be misconstrued as something else. Only a qualified doctor can give you the right answers and provide you with options for treatment.
Sources: Mayo Clinic, British Thyroid Foundation, SingHealth
Read also: Pregnancy concerns: Thyroid deficiency