In the neck lies the most important organ of the endocrine system, the thyroid gland. It’s shaped like a butterfly and regulates the hormones that influence numerous critical bodily functions, as well as your physical and mental performance. Approximately 20 million people have some form of thyroid disease, with 60% of them unaware of their condition.
The two most common of these are hypothyroidism, in which the thyroid is underused; and hyperthyroidism, where it is overused. Each has its own set of complications that manifest as various symptoms, which can cause problems throughout the body.
Keep reading to learn about the signs and symptoms that can indicate an issue with your thyroid.
#14 Elevated Heart Rate
Rapid heart rate is one of the most common symptoms associated with high thyroid hormone levels. Of course, your heart rate can increase for various reasons, such as when you’re stressed or scared. However, elevated thyroid levels result in a heart rate that is consistently high, even during rest.
In addition to a faster heart rate, hyperthyroidism can also cause irregular heart rate or atrial fibrillation.
#13 Sleep Issues
Since your energy levels are regulated by the hormones produced by your thyroid, this could affect your sleep patterns. If you can’t fall asleep or wake up often throughout the night, you may have hyperthyroidism; while excessive tiredness and difficulty staying awake is characteristic of hypothyroidism.
Common to hyperthyroidism are feelings of anxiety, This could lead to being easily agitated and having uncontrollable emotional outbursts. If you’re having trouble getting along with the people around you, take a look at what’s changed. If you can’t find a reason for why everyone seems to be getting on your last nerve, a hormonal imbalance resulting from a thyroid disorder might be to blame.
#12 Weight Gain or Weight Loss
Another warning sign of thyroid issues is an otherwise unexplained weight change. Low thyroid function can result in a lack of energy, and when you don’t have enough energy to function normally, you’ll burn fewer calories, resulting in weight gain.Hyperthyroidism has the opposite effect, You’ll likely have excessive energy, and with your metabolism in high gear, you’ll experience rapid weight loss.
While this might be a welcome change on the outside, serious damage can occur internally if left untreated.
#10 Body Shakes
Since thyroid hormones are required for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves, thyroid issues can result in tremors that affect different parts of your body. These include trembling, shaky hands, or difficulty relaxing.
#9 Feeling Chilly or Hot
Are you always cold, even when it’s sunny and hot out? Or do you sweat bullets in the middle of winter?
If you feel abnormally cold, it might be due to low blood pressure, resulting in low blood circulation that typically accompanies hypothyroidism, This may be particularly noticeable in the hands and feet. On the flip side, those with hyperthyroidism may sweat excessively or get hot flashes.
#8 Trouble Concentrating
An inability to concentrate is associated with both hypo- and hyperthyroidism. Forgetfulness and confusion may occur as well. You might forget where you parked your car or why you went to the kitchen, You might also have trouble remembering names and keeping dates straight.
#7 Hair Loss
While it’s perfectly normal to lose a few strands when you brush your hair, if your hair is coming out in handfuls, it could be a sign of thyroid trouble. That’s because thyroid hormones play an essential role in the development and maintenance of the hair follicles. When the body has too much or not enough of these hormones, it can result in excessive hair loss. So, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the amount of hair left behind on your brush.
#6 Digestive Issues
Changes in digestive habits may have a variety of causes, one of which may be related to thyroid hormones. Constipation typically accompanies hypothyroidism, while an overactive thyroid will more likely result in frequent diarrhea.
#5 Muscle Aches and Trouble Swallowing
When your thyroid is out of whack, you may experience muscle aches in various parts of your body, If you suddenly experience achiness with no other logical explanation, a thyroid disorder could be to blame. In some cases, this could also result in muscle breakdown. More specifically, since the thyroid is located in the neck, it’s these muscles that are usually affected first. Thus, difficulty swallowing could also signal a thyroid problem.
#4 Changes in Menstrual Cycle or Sexual Performance
The hormonal changes that result from thyroid issues are likely to take a toll on your sexual function as well. For women, this could mean irregular, heavy, or painful menstrual cycles and even more amplified PMS emotional symptoms. Decreased sex drive is another possible side effect for both men and women.
#3 Dry or Oily Skin
When your thyroid is underactive, hormone levels go down, and as a result, your skin becomes dry. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, causes oily skin. This is due to excess hormones and chemicals that add moisture to your skin and hair, This can result in acne.
#2 Changes in the Eyes
Thyroid issues can lead to numerous eye issues such as dry or red eyes, It could also result in double vision, difficulty closing your eyes, or a change in vision. Bulging eyes is another symptom commonly associated with hyperthyroidism. However, others will likely notice this before you do, because of its gradual progression.
#1Growth on the neck
When thyroid disorders are extreme, growths on the neck may form, These nodules can be caused by a swollen thyroid gland or an abnormal growth that has attached itself to the thyroid. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor and get your thyroid checked.
The most common treatment for both hypo- and hyperthyroidism is prescription medication taken daily, or injected at intervals. In cases where someone is resistant to medication or the thyroid is causing other complications, the thyroid may need to be surgically removed.