Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is not able to produce enough thyroid hormone. Since the main purpose of thyroid hormone is to “run the body’s metabolism,” it is understandable that people with this condition will have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism. It affects different people in different ways – here is just a few…
1. You’re gaining weight for no reason
Unexplained weight gain is a classic sign of hypothyroidism. Your metabolism is slower so your body’s accumulating fluid.
2. You’re exhausted beyond belief
Many things in life can make you tired, but the fatigue you feel with hypothyroidism goes beyond what you experience after having one or even a few nights of bad sleep. No amount of sleep can make you feel refreshed, and even after a restful night of sleep, you’re still tired.
3. Your hair is changing
Don’t be surprised if your hair starts to feel or look a little different. It might become dryer and more brittle, making it prone to breakage or hair loss.
4. You’re constipated
When you have hypothyroidism, all of your bodily functions slow, including the digestion and elimination of food. You get constipated either because your body’s absorbing too much water from food or your colon just isn’t contracting as it should.
5. Your periods are longer and heavier
It’s well documented that thyroid disease can affect your menstrual cycle, and even affect fertility. In the case of hypothyroidism, the thyroid hormone being in short supply means that you could have a longer cycle and heavier flows.
6. You feel puffy or bloated
You already know that fluid retention with hypothyroidism can cause you to gain weight, but that same water weight can make your face puffy. And because your body’s also operating in slow motion, even slowing the emptying of your stomach, you could feel bloated, especially after eating.
7. You have trouble focusing
Feel like you’re battling brain fog more often than not? Difficulty concentrating or having memory problems are often reported among people who have hypothyroidism.
8. You have unexplained aches & pains
Getting sore and achy after doing a new workout or engaging in strenuous activity is one thing. But the aches and pains, even tingling, you feel as a result of hypothyroidism seem to come out of nowhere, and they’re most common in your joints, Dr. Bier says.
9. You’re sensitive to the cold
Feeling cold all the time? Can’t get your fingers and toes to warm up? Even if you’ve never been sensitive to the cold in the past, hypothyroidism can change that, largely because your body’s burning less energy to begin with, which means you’re producing less heat. You might even feel cold when the environment is relatively warm.
10. You’re feeling down in the dumps
Depression isn’t only a stand-alone disease, it can also occur in conjunction with hypothyroidism. A study in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry suggests that hypothyroidism and thyroid autoimmunity is associated with depression.
11. You can’t tolerate heat
Your thyroid helps regulate your body temperature, but when those thyroid hormones get out of whack, your body can’t regulate its temperature as well, and in the case of hyperthyroidism, you become intolerant of heat. ‘You may feel hot and sweat all the time, even if you’re in a cold environment,’ Dr. Bier says.
12. You’re losing weight without trying
One cause of unexplained weight loss may be that overactive thyroid. The more severe your hyperthyroidism is, the more weight you may lose, according to the American Thyroid Association. Of course, not everybody loses weight, and some people may even gain weight, depending on how many more calories they’re eating every day.
13. You’re pooing more than normal
With too much thyroid hormone in your system, your body’s processes speed up, including your digestion. You might even have diarrhoea.
14. Your hands are trembling
With hyperthyroidism, everything in your body is in overdrive, including your nerves which are being overstimulated.
15. Your periods are irregular or have stopped altogether
While hypothyroidism can cause heavier and longer menstrual cycles, the opposite is true with hyperthyroidism. ‘Your periods may be lighter, shorter, and further apart,’ Dr. Bier says. Your period might even stop altogether, which could lead to infertility issues.
16. You’re not sleeping well
If you have hyperthyroidism, you may have so much thyroid hormone surging through your body that you’re almost too stimulated to sleep. Experiencing hot flashes and digestive issues can also disrupt sleep.
17. You’re feeling anxious or irritable
You could have mood changes and that anxiety and irritability may be exacerbated if you’re also not sleeping well.
18. You have vision disturbances
People with hyperthyroidism often complain about blurred vision, even dry or irritated eyes.
19. You’re having irregular heart rhythms
Lying in bed or sitting at a desk shouldn’t make your heart race, except if you have hyperthyroidism. With this condition, excess thyroid hormone can make your heart beat faster, leading to palpitations, even an irregular heartbeat.
20. You feel weak
Don’t be surprised if you go to lift a heavy object and can’t or have trouble doing mundane things like climbing stairs.
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