Thyroid symptoms are becoming almost commonplace in Americans. In order to understand how these symptoms come about, let’s start by getting a good understanding of the purpose of the thyroid and how it works.
The thyroid gland is a relatively small, butterfly shaped gland located in the neck area. Although it is small, it is quite powerful in its effect on different systems of the body. Its function is to regulate the body’s metabolism. Another way of looking at the thyroid gland is to say, it helps to energize the cells of your body so that they can all carry out their own respective functions to the best of their ability.
For a number of reasons including poor diet and high stress levels, most people are hypothyroid to some degree. In fact, it’s estimated that about 40% of Americans experience one or more thyroid symptoms during their life. These specific symptoms are caused when the gland is making too little of the specific hormones it is responsible to produce or if these hormones are not being properly converted and delivered to your cells.
Hypothyroidism can affect just about every major system in the body. In women, thyroid symptoms often manifest with symptoms similar to conditions like menopause or PMS. The test that is most often used, which is a test to estimate the amount of thyroid hormone that your thyroid gland is producing, is unfortunately, not always accurate. In fact, it is estimated that a good majority of patients who were suffering from thyroid symptoms, but tested negative on their thyroid test, have been misdiagnosed.
That’s why it is important to pay close attention to your body. It’s important to invest in yourself, and take an active role, in your own health. Get to know your body and become aware of any signs or symptoms that might indicate that you would benefit from some sort of hypothyroidism treatment.
Let’s take a look at some of the more common thyroid symptoms
Most people suffering from a thyroid condition will find that they have one or more of the symptoms listed below:
- Weight gain
- Swollen neck
- Pressure headaches
- Pain in the neck
- Pain in the back
- Muscle cramps
- Migraine headaches
- Loss of energy
- Long term obesity
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Inability to lost weight
- Goiter cold fingers, toes that just “don’t get warm.”
- Foot, wrist or ankle pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Stamina and Energy Related Thyroid Symptoms
It is not unusual to chalk up the following list of symptoms to other causes, but if you see any symptoms that you recognize as your own, it would be a good idea to consider a problem with your thyroid.
- Quality of sleep is poor
- Waking up feeling unrested after a good night’s sleep
- Difficultly getting out of bed in the morning even after a good night’s sleep
- Frequent nightmares
- Sleep Apnea
- Excessive snoring
- Night Sweats
Sensory Related Thyroid Symptoms
These symptoms are most often attributed to other conditions, however if you experience any of these for any length of time, keep in mind that you may be dealing with a thyroid problem.
- Startled at loud unexpected noises
- Slow reflexes
- Slow reaction time
- Sensitivity to sun or light from any other source
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Sensitive reaction to odors
- Inability to concentrate
- Blurred vision
Some thyroid symptoms are related to the various systems of the body. For example, the digestive and cardiac systems are two such areas which often have several symptoms at the same time or over a period of time.
Digestive Thyroid Symptoms
- Swollen Tongue or Ridges on the tongue
- Salt and/or sweet cravings
- Loss of appetite
- Liver/Gallbladder issues
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Food Allergies and Sensitivities
- Excessive Gas
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Chronic dry mouth
- Bad Breath
- Alcohol intolerance
- Abdominal dissention
For women, thyroid symptoms often manifest themselves around your monthly cycle. In fact many of the symptoms that are normally attributed to menopause or pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) are oftentimes caused by an unhealthy thyroid.
A problem thyroid can cause a considerable number of symptoms ranging from irregular menstruation related to infertility. Below is a list of some of the thyroid symptoms that are related to women and their reproductive system.
Reproductive System Thyroid Symptoms
There is a vast range of reproductive system related symptoms that women may experience. As mentioned before, oftentimes these are mistaken for menopause or pre-menopause and end up being diagnosed incorrectly. This is why so many women who take medications for their menopause symptoms or premenstrual difficulties often find no relief. The real problem is that they are experiencing thyroid symptoms.
- Intense or chronic premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Severe menstrual cramps
- History of miscarriage
- Loss of libido
- Longer, lighter or heavier menstrual cycles
Men can also experience thyroid symptoms in their reproductive system.
- Decreased libido
- Erectile dysfunction
It is extremely important to identify whether or not you have thyroid symptoms because when problems are left untreated, they don’t just go away, they tend to become worse. As the condition progresses, you may find yourself suffering from some of the late stage thyroid symptoms, which can become not only chronic, but critical:
Late Stage Thyroid Symptoms
- Goiter or a lump in your throat
- Slow speech
- Hoarse, crackling voice that sometimes becomes noticeably deep
- Dry skin
- Puffy face
- Yellowing of the skin
- Difficulty swallowing
- Hair loss
- Shortness of breath
If you have any of these thyroid symptoms and have had a test, but it came back negative, that doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have thyroid symptoms. Because the test for thyroid hormones is not always reliable the best course is to conduct a therapeutic trial. This is a tried and true approach which leads to a correct diagnosis 100 percent of the time. Not only is it accurate, but it is simple as well.
It involves following a thyroid treatment protocol, which includes eating the correct hypothyroidism diet and continuing to closely monitor symptoms. If the symptoms improve, you can be certain that you have been dealing with thyroid symptoms.