Many individuals across all walks of life may encounter problems with their thyroid on occasion. These can generally be classified as having an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or one which does not produce enough hormones (hypothyroidism). It should also be apparent that the symptoms associated with each of these conditions will vary. This is also why it is important to be able to recognize some of the warning signs that a problem could be present. Let us therefore examine some of the common symptoms associated with each condition.
The Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
As the name suggests, hyperthyroidism involves a marked increase in the production of certain thyroid-related hormones. According to the information offered by Healthline, some of the most common symptoms associated with this condition include:
- Feelings of restlessness and anxiety.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- An increased heart rate.
- An insatiable appetite.
- Hot flashes.
It should also be mentioned that some women may experience hyperthyroidism during pregnancy. However, this is normally a transient condition and will resolve itself after the child is born.
The Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces insufficient amounts of specific hormones such as T3 and T4. As you may have imagined, an underactive thyroid will generally produce conditions that are opposite to those mentioned in the previous section. The NHS has highlighted some symptoms which could indicate that you may be suffering from hypothyroidism:
- Tiredness and lethargy.
- An increased sensitivity to cold.
- A decreased appetite.
- Unexplained weight gain.
- Sleeping for excessively long periods of time.
- Muscular cramps.
- A loss of sex drive (libido).
Elderly individuals have also been known to develop problems with cognition and memory on occasion. This is why it is important to get tested if you suspect that you or someone you may know is exhibiting any of the symptoms outlined above.
Putting it All Together
One of the issues with diagnosing thyroid problems is that they tend to develop over an extended period of time. Another problematic factor is that many of the associated symptoms are present with other conditions and illnesses. This is also one of the reasons why specific medications (such as Cortef) which are intended to treat other problems can sometimes be used to address imbalances within the thyroid.
Women tend to suffer from thyroid issues more than men. However, both genders need to take this condition seriously in order to avoid complications in the future. While the symptoms highlighted within this article may appear to be trivial in and of themselves, a combination of two or more could very well indicate that a problem is present.
Do you suspect that your thyroid is not functioning as it should be? Have you experienced any of the conditions listed above? If so, make it a point to speak with your doctor in order to obtain a professional diagnosis and to be provided with effective treatment options.