Your thyroid’s job is to produce crucial hormones for optimal body function. When the thyroid isn’t functioning properly, these hormones can be skewed, leading to a variety of issues. As with many health conditions, this tends to worsen with time, so treatment is important. The two common conditions associated with a malfunctioning thyroid are hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and these occur occurs when your thyroid is producing too few or too much of two hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).
Symptoms for both types can be similar but others are specific. The ones that are generally the most debilitating include the following:
Feeling worn out is perhaps the most common issue you’ll deal with if your thyroid is malfunctioning. Having low thyroid levels will leave you feeling exhausted and tired, which can affect both mental and physical function. You’ll feel this sleepiness even if you’ve gotten enough sleep, which is a strong indicator that you should have your thyroid levels checked.
Another responsibility of the thyroid is to help control your weight. Triggering additional thyroid hormones affects the metabolism so you may experience weight gain. You may be getting less physical activity due to fatigue, which signals your body to hold on to fat and lower your metabolism. If you notice that you’re putting on some pounds, but haven’t changed your diet, it’s a good idea to have your thyroid checked.
Another job that your thyroid performs is to keep your hair follicles healthy. When you have an imbalance in the thyroid hormones, this function is interrupted, and you may notice that you are losing hair in greater quantities than before. In fact, many people who seek medical treatment for hair loss find out they have hypothyroidism. In many cases medication or a supplement like Nature Throid can help reverse your loss. In hyperthyroidism, hair and thin becomes very dry.
There are many causes of dry and itchy skin, but low thyroid levels are a common cause. Much like your hair’s follicles, your skin cells rely on adequate levels of hormones produced by your thyroid. When it’s not nourished in this way, you experience dry skin, but since your thyroid is low, your skin cell turnover slows down, which can lead to flaky and itchy skin at the same time. For people already dealing with these issues, hypothyroidism can make them worse.
Your body stays warm by burning calories, but when your thyroid levels are off, your body’s metabolism slows down, which means calorie burning also slows down. When your body isn’t producing as much heat as usual, you will feel cold, even when the temperature outside isn’t cold. Some people are built this way, but if you notice that you’re suddenly cold more often than not, you should have your thyroid levels checked. This is a symptom of hypothyroidism. The opposite is true for hyperthyroidism, when you are more sensitive to heat and have a higher body temperature.
There are a variety of other symptoms associated with imbalanced thyroid levels. They include aches in your muscles and joints, feelings of depression, difficulty concentrating and constipation. Women may also notice heavier than average periods each month. If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor so you can be properly diagnosed.