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5 Uncommon Symptoms of an Underactive Thyroid

What is the Thyroid Gland?

The thyroid gland is shaped like a butterfly and is positioned in the lower section of your neck. Despite its small size it plays a major role and is responsible for controlling a vast number of functions within the body.

Thyroid disorders can affect both men and women. There are however more women than men that suffer from hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

There are a number of symptoms that are generally associated with hypothyroidism. These include feelings of fatigue and lethargy, constipation, dry skin and weight gain.

Hypothyroidism can however be the root cause of other symptoms that you might not automatically associate with an underactive thyroid.

Depression

hypothyroidism-symptomsUnder active thyroid sufferers have a slower metabolism than normal. This can result in lower levels of serotonin being produced. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and is generally thought to be the chemical that is responsible for maintaining an individuals moods.

The result is that the individual can begin to become lethargic and feel fatigued. They will then very often feel less motivated and their attention span will be reduced. It is also quite common for the body temperature to drop.

Ultimately the individual will become depressed.

Digestive Problems

Whilst anyone suffering from an underactive thyroid will quite commonly suffer from constipation there are other, less publicised, conditions that can also occur.

Hypothyroidism can also cause conditions such as heartburn, feelings of nausea and vomiting. The patient can also suffer from gastritis and can become visibly bloated.

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Heart Problems

Many people do not realize that an under active thyroid can cause heart problems.

High cholesterol can be the result of a thyroid disorder. Hypothyroidism sufferers may also get heartburn and find that their heart muscles become enlarged (a condition known as cardiomyopathy). In extreme cases hypothyroidism can even result in heart failure.

Hypothyroidism can affect the menstrual cycle

The operation of the thyroid has a direct affect on a large number of the body's functions, including the ovaries.

This can have the effect of changing the menstrual cycle. In some cases the cycle may skip one or two months or can even cease completely. The flow of the cycle can also become eratic.

Fertility

Thyroid issues can not only cause problems with the menstrual cycle they can also affect an individuals ability to conceive. There is also a possibility of an increased chance of miscarrying and fetal death.

In men hypothyroidism can result in less testosterone being produced which has the effect of lowering the individuals sperm count.

Please remember that there can be other causes for any of the conditions described above. If you are suffering from any of these it does not automatically mean that you have a thyroid disorder.

You should however consult with your medical practitioner to find the cause and undergo the necessary treatment.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms

 Hypothyroidism Symptoms

Some people can have hypothyroidism for some time without actually realizing that they have it. The symptoms can develop quite slowly, a number of years in some cases. The seriousness of the condition will vary from person to person depending on exactly how bad their thyroid hormone deficiency actually is.

Because the symptoms can take such a long time to manifest themselves many sufferers do not realise that what they have is hypothyroidism. They will very often simply assume that the symptoms they are displaying are a natural result of ageing.

Invariably as your metabolism continues to slow down the symptoms become more pronounced.

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What are the Symptoms of Hypothyroidism?

Fatigue

Many hypothyroidism sufferers start to suffer from fatigue. Their energy levels begin to drop and they become tired much more easily.

Weight Gain

One other fairly common symptom of hypothyroidism is unexplained weight gain. You are eating exactly the same foods as you normally do and exercising as usual but your weight increases.

Puffy Face

Many hypothyroidism sufferers find that their face takes on a puffy, bloated appearance.

Sensitivity to the Cold

If you find that you you are becoming less tolerant of the cold then that could be an indication that you are suffering from an under active thyroid.

Constipation

Many hypothyroidism sufferers find that they begin to suffer from constipation.

Impaired Memory

One of the most worrying aspects of hypothyroidism is memory loss. Everyone finds it more difficult to remember things as they get older and often put it down to the fact that they are growing older. This may in actual fact be the case but it can also indicate that you are suffering from hypothyroidism.

Depression

Many people go through periods of depression at some time during their lives. Usually however it is usually possible to eventually identify the root cause of the problem.

Anyone who becomes depressed for no apparent reason could be suffering from hypothyroidism.

Weakness and Muscle Aches

This usually accompanies fatigue. Your muscles ache and feel tender and stiff. You feel weak and find that some physical tasks that you normally carry out quite easily become difficult or even impossible.

Swelling of the Joints

Many hypothyroidism sufferers find that their joints (knees and elbows) begin to swell and become stiff and painful.

Slowed Heart Rate and Increased Cholesterol Level

Slowed heart rate and an increase in cholesterol levels are classic symptoms of a underactive thyroid.

The video below gives more information about Common Thyroid Problems

 

Of course there could be other causes for any of the symptoms listed above but if you do suffer from any of these it is worth finding out whether you are suffering from hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism can be treated by drugs but many sufferers are finding that natural solutions to the problem are more successful.

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