Have you experienced unexplained weight loss or gain? Do you have trouble relaxing or feel anxious all the time? Are you always lethargic and find yourself oversleeping a lot? Are you depressed? Is your hair thinning?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a problem with your thyroid gland. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones, which work to regulate and keep your metabolism working efficiently. If your thyroid is not producing enough hormones, it’s called hypothyroidism, and if it produces too many hormones, it’s called hyperthyroidism.
In either case, it can be difficult to diagnose a thyroid problem at first, as hyper- and hypothyroidism both share symptoms with other physiological and psychological problems. For example, hyperthyroidism sufferers may lose weight and experience heightened blood pressure. If you have hypothyroidism, you can gain weight and experience heightened blood pressure.
Depending on how efficient your metabolism runs and how you respond to stress, the symptoms can often be put down to a stressful time, however, untreated hypo- or hyperthyroidism can lead to serious illness and even death.
About the most common symptoms of thyroid problems
Unexplained Weight Loss or Gain
If you are eating right and getting enough exercise, you should be able to maintain a healthy weight. However, if your thyroid is over- or underactive, you may find you are experiencing unexpected and unexplained weight loss or weight gain.
While you may not initially worry about unexplained weight loss the way you would with weight gain, you really should not ignore it. Hyperthyroidism is just as dangerous as hypothyroidism. Weight loss is not the only symptom, and it can lead to a lot worse health problems.
Depression and/or Anxiety
Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism tend to lead to depression. With hyperthyroidism, you may find you tend to feel anxious and troubles with sleeping and holding still. On the other hand, with hypothyroidism, you may feel lethargic, sleep a lot and have trouble waking up in the morning.
In both of these cases, depression is a common symptom. In the case of hypothyroidism, you may feel sluggish, which can lead to negative self-talk and subsequent depression. On the other hand, with hyperthyroidism, your inability to relax and get enough sleep will lead to fatigue, anxiety and perhaps depression.
Heat or Cold Sensitivity
People with hyperthyroidism often develop heat sensitivities. If you find that you often feel hot in a room where other people seem to feel like the temperature is normal, or you have trouble touching warm objects, feeling as though you are being burned, you may have an overactive thyroid gland.
People with hypothyroidism, on the other hand, will develop cold sensitivities. They will want to turn the heat up when everyone else feels fine, and they will often bundle up when they weather is still temperate. If this sounds like you, and you have experienced any of the other symptoms on this list, you should get your thyroid gland checked.
Hair Loss and Skin Damage
In the case of hypothyroidism, hair will often become brittle and dry leading to breakage and falling out. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism can cause large amounts of hair loss; this is due to the increase in metabolism causing a decrease in the supply of nutrients to keep the hair growing.
Any or all of these symptoms are indicators of a thyroid problem. If you are concerned about your thyroid, make an appointment with a thyroid surgeon. Contact us today.