Common Signs and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism or also known as an underactive thyroid is a medical condition that occurs when the body does not produce sufficient thyroid hormones. It is one of the most common medical conditions and around 1-2 in 100 people are suffering from it in the UK.
Thyroid hormones are very important for the body to be able to regulate metabolism. These are produced by the Thyroid gland located in the front of the neck. If it produces the hormones in an amount lower than what’s actually required the condition is called as the hypothyroidism. If the hormones are produced in an excessive amount the condition is called hyperthyroidism. In both conditions, normal body functions are affected.
Below are 10 common signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Weight gain is one of the common symptoms of Hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormones play an important role in regulating body weight and food intake. If the thyroid levels are low it will lower the metabolic rate and as a result, you would experience weight gain.
If you have gained considerable weight in a few months, even after maintaining a proper diet and following exercise plan you might have hypothyroidism.
Tiredness and Fatigue
Tiredness and Fatigue are two of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism. Low levels of thyroid affect your energy levels and make you feel more exhausted. It makes you feel unrested doesn’t matter how much you sleep. Almost half of the patients suffering from hypothyroidism feel consistently tired and sleepy.
Soreness in Muscles and Joints
Low thyroid levels can negatively impact muscles and joints causing pain and aches. Hypothyroidism causes metabolism i.e. the body begins to break down muscles for energy. It makes you feel more tired and can also cause joints stiffness and tenderness. It can also result in painful swelling of the joints.
When thyroid levels are low your metabolism slows down, so, the body does not burn enough calories needed to generate heat. As a result, the body becomes more sensitive to cold temperatures. People with hypothyroidism feel cold all the time even if they are in a warm room or during the summer season. Some people feel cold in just hands and feet while others feel cold in their whole body.
Dryness and redness on the face
Hypothyroidism can cause several skin problems. The most common of them is dry skin. According to a study, more than 70% of the people with hypothyroidism were reported to have dry skin. It can cause other symptoms as well such as paleness, itchiness, and redness. Though skin problems are more commonly caused by allergies if you don’t feel so you might have hypothyroidism.
Another symptom of hypothyroidism is hair loss. Both low and high levels of thyroid hormone can alter the hair as well as skin structure. As thyroid hormones are needed for the proper growth of hair follicles, their low levels can affect the regeneration of hair follicles resulting in hair loss. It can result in hair loss from the scalp, legs, and other body parts as well.
High Cholesterol Level
Hypothyroidism causes an increase in blood cholesterol levels. The reason for this is the insufficiency of the thyroid hormones needed to remove LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. Even people with mildly low levels of thyroid hormones can have a high level of LDL cholesterol.
Anxiety and Depression
Hypothyroidism affects a person’s overall health and energy that leads to depression. Anxiety is also a symptom of hypothyroidism. More than 60% of women and 50% of men suffering from hypothyroidism also suffers from depression. If you are feeling depressed or anxious and you are not sure about the cause you should consult a doctor.
Constipation is a very common symptom of hypothyroidism and it gets worse and worse with time. Hypothyroidism affects many of the body’s systems including elimination and digestion. It reduces the gut motility which is important for the proper digestion of food. According to a study, 17% of people with hypothyroidism suffer from constipation.
Concentration and Memory Problems
Thyroid hormones are required by the brain in order to function properly. Their deficiency can impact brain structure and its functions in a negative way. People with hyperthyroidism are reported to have concentration. Some patients also reported that they are thinking more slowly than usual.