The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism are often subtle, and because they can mimic the symptoms of other conditions, it makes it harder to detect the onset of hypothyroidism. Usually, these symptoms develop over a number of years, and vary in different individuals depending on the severity of the hormone deficiency. As the conditions worsens, the symptoms become more obvious and it is at this point that many patients seek medical attention.
These are the tell-tale signs and symptoms that every person at risk of hypothyroidism must look out for in order to decide whether it is time to go for a thyroid test.
Any unexplained exhaustion might be a sign of hypothyroidism, especially if you haven’t taken part in any particularly tiresome tasks. Do not simply attribute it to aging. It might be your clue to get checked.
Unexplained weight gain
If you’ve suddenly gone up two dress sizes, it might be time to get screened for hypothyroidism. Suddenly in this case means that you haven’t indulged in choices that might lead to piling on excess weight, e.g. excessive consumption of junk food. This also goes for any instances of unexplained weight loss.
Have you been feeling blue lately? Your thyroid might be to blame. Get yourself to a doctor ASAP.
Slower heart rate
Not many people pay attention to their heart rate, except when they are particularly excited or aggravated. However, if you do notice that your heart is beating slower than it usually does (or, than it should), get yourself tested for thyroid disease.
Swelling of the thyroid gland
This is one of the more obvious signs. The swelling, or goiter if you prefer, is a sure sign that something is amiss with your thyroid.
Dry hair and hair loss
Your hair has always been healthy and shiny but nowadays it looks dull and has started falling off. Before you blame the shampoo company, it is always wiser to check whether there is a greater underlying problem, especially if other already mentioned symptoms have already manifested.
Irregular menstrual cycle
An irregular cycle, or menstruation that is heavier than normal should tip you off that everything is not well. True, sometimes women do have irregular cycles due to stress and other factors, but if this is accompanied by say, a slower heart rate and fatigue, you might want to have a doctor take a look at that thyroid gland.
Increased sensitivity to cold
If it seems that you’re the only one among your friends shivering on a night out, it may mean that something somewhere is amiss. Of course, before worrying yourself sick it might be a good idea to sit down and check whether you have any symptoms that are associated with hypothyroidism.
Painful, stiff and swollen joints
This is a symptom that may manifest in the later stages of hypothyroidism, and if it does the wise thing to do is get checked immediately. Painful joints may not always mean hypothyroidism, but then again if you have painful joints it is important to consult a doctor so you can be certain what the problem really is.
Muscle aches and tenderness
If your body feels like it’s aching all over, especially if you have not recently taken part in any exercise that may have made your body sore, consider making an appointment with your physician.
Constipation is another sign of hypothyroidism, which may not be so obvious.
It is easy to see why a great number of hypothyroidism sufferers remain undiagnosed, and the reason is because the symptoms are so easy to dismiss or attribute to another condition.
For instance, one may think the reason why they are fatigued is because they are aging, while another may think the cause of their irregular menstrual cycle is the stress of their demanding job. And while these are plausible causes, the best thing to do is pay keen attention to your body so you can always notice the signs when your body is trying to communicate with you.
Because often bodies do communicate, but unfortunately many are the times they are ignored.
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