Thyroid disorders affect millions of people, and they’re more common in women than men. But the most common types of thyroid disorders are hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). And underactive thyroid means your body isn’t producing enough of the thyroid hormone, and overactive means the opposite.
Thyroid problems can affect your body in many different ways. Here are some common signs that could mean you have a thyroid problem.
1. You have dry skin
When your thyroid produces too little hormone, your metabolism is affected. This can reduce the amount of moisture in your skin. It ends up becoming dry and flaky, and you feel like you have to moisturize far more often than you used to. Dry skin is common in winter, but if you moisturize frequently or live in a warmer environment and still notice dry skin, talk to your doctor.
Next: An underactive thyroid may cause this serious condition.
2. Your mood has been on the downswing
If your thyroid is underactive, it can affect the amount of serotonin produced in the brain. As a result, you might feel more depressed than usual. If depression is something you never dealt with in the past, and you can’t explain why you might have it, the thyroid could be responsible. An underactive thyroid might explain your mood, and getting it checked out by a doctor could greatly improve your quality of life.
Next: This could be your problem with an overactive thyroid.
3. You’re more anxious than usual
Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. And according to EverydayHealth.com, a thyroid disorder can be responsible for both. If you’ve noticed you’re always on edge or have had more anxiety symptoms than usual, it could be your thyroid. And if you never used to have anxiety, it’s definitely worth getting the thyroid checked. But anxiety is the result of an overactive thyroid, so rather than feeling lazy and depressed (which would be underactive), you feel more hyperaware and worried.
Next: The thyroid plays a big role in energy levels.
4. You’re more tired than usual
If you feel like you don’t have the same energy you once did, you should consider getting your thyroid checked. Being overtired is a sign that your thyroid is producing too little of the thyroid hormone. If you’ve been getting enough sleep but still notice you have no energy, there could be an underlying problem. Plus, a lack of energy can be frustrating, so getting it sorted out will improve your mood as well.
Next: This could be a problem in your relationship.
5. You have a lower sex drive
Losing interest in sex can be tough on a relationship. And if you aren’t sure where the low drive is coming from, it can be hard to fix it. But there’s a chance your thyroid is responsible for your disinterest. If your thyroid is producing too little hormone, it could result in a lower libido. Talk to your doctor if you’ve noticed you’re less interested in sex than you used to be.
Next: If this has changed, the thyroid could be to blame.
6. Your appetite isn’t what it used to be
If you’ve noticed a change in appetite, the thyroid could be the root of the problem. When your thyroid is overactive, it ramps up nearly every system in your body and can leave you feeling hungry all the time. But just because you’re hungrier doesn’t mean you’re gaining weight. Actually, with an overactive thyroid, you’re hungry all the time and don’t gain any weight. That’s because the over activity offsets the number of calories you’re eating.
Next: If this is off, it could signal a problem.
7. Your sleep schedule is off
An underactive thyroid can make you very tired, but an overactive one can keep you awake. If your sleep schedule is off and you aren’t getting nearly as much sleep as you used to, it could be a sign of an overactive thyroid. Restless nights can happen to anyone once in a while. But according to WebMD, with an overactive thyroid, you tend to have more energy than you know what to do with.
Next: This is one of the most obvious signs of a thyroid issue.
8. You’ve gained unexplainable weight
An overactive thyroid might make you hungrier, but you won’t gain weight. However, in contrast, an underactive thyroid can affect your metabolism, which can lead to unexplained weight gain. If your diet hasn’t changed and you’re exercising frequently, yet you’re still gaining weight, it’s likely the thyroid is the problem. Talk to your doctor and have your thyroid checked, because it will be difficult to lose weight if the thyroid is underactive.
Next: This change in appearance is another sign.
9. Your hair is thinning
Your hair says a lot about your health. Thinning hair can be the result of a slew of health problems, but thyroid problems are one of them. With an underactive thyroid, you might notice hair loss all over your body. And with an overactive thyroid, you’ll likely only notice hair loss on your head. Either way, one of them could be culprit.
Next: Digestive problems are another sign.
10. You’ve noticed constipation
An underactive thyroid can slow down the digestive system, which may make you feel constipated. And constipation is actually a very common symptom of hypothyroidism. If you’ve noticed an unexplainable change in your bowels, talk to your doctor. The problem could likely be slower movement in your digestive tract as a result of an underactive thyroid.
Next: If this is high, ask for a thyroid check.
11. You have high cholesterol
When you have high cholesterol, the best way to combat it is to change your diet and exercise more. But if your cholesterol levels are high and are not responding to those changes, the thyroid could be the problem. With an underactive thyroid, cholesterol levels are not well-controlled and could rise. This can lead to heart problems down the road if the hypothyroidism goes untreated.
Next: This might also be high due to a thyroid problem.
12. Your blood pressure is higher than it used to be
Both overactive and underactive thyroids can play a role in blood pressure. But underactive thyroid is a bit more serious. Hypothyroidism can slow the heartbeat, which affects the strength of the heart’s pumps and creates higher blood pressure. High blood pressure can be a sign of many different complications, so suggest a thyroid test to your doctor if you think that may be the cause.
Next: If this has been wacky, talk to your doctor.
13. Your internal temperature is unpredictable
When you have an underactive thyroid, your body overall slows down. When this happens, less energy is being burned by your cells. This can create a constant chill, since your body is having a hard time regulating its internal temperature. On the contrary, if your thyroid is overactive, you might sweat more than usual. Any change in body temperature should be brought up to your doctor.
Next: These are a bizarre signal of a thyroid disorder.
14. You have unexplained pains
The thyroid plays a role in pain sensitivity. If you have too little thyroid hormone, it can damage the nerve cells that respond to signals from your brain. And when this happens, you sometimes get numbness or pain for no apparent reason. The pain will likely be in your extremities and will come and go but can do permanent damage if left untreated.
Next: This is a big sign of a thyroid problem in women.
15. Your menstrual cycle has changed
For females, a cycle with longer, heavier periods can signal an underactive thyroid. That’s because the menstrual cycle is just another system the thyroid helps control. On the contrary, a very light period can signal an overactive thyroid. There a few different factors that can affect the cycle, such as stress or birth control, but if you notice things don’t seem right, it’s best to talk to your doctor.
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