Signs of Thyroid Problems

There are many different signs of thyroid problems that you can take in account if you think that you might be hypothyroid. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to experience all of the various hypothyroidism symptoms because it varies widely from person to person.

But there are some that tend to be more common than others.

Below, I’ve covered some of the more common signs of thyroid problems that you can take into account along with some more medically oriented tests that you can do that are oftentimes a better indicator.

Physical Signs of Thyroid Problems

There are many physical signs of thyroid problems and below I’ll discuss a few of the more common ones. But just because you don’t exhibit physical signs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in the free and clear.

Professional athletes are a good example of this. Because of the demands of their sport, they oftentimes appear to be in great physical shape. But most athletes are hypothyroid because of the consistent stress they put on their bodies.


Not only your weight, but your ability to lose weight is oftentimes one of the big signs of thyroid problems. Because hypothyroidism tends to decrease your metabolism, you naturally burn fewer calories. But your body still needs the same amount of nutrients in order to properly function. And you can only cut calories so far before you start seeing the effects of nutrient deficiencies.

Water Retentionsigns of thyroid problems

When your metabolism slows, your cells begin to absorb more water than normal. And this causes all of your cells including muscle, nerves, and fat cells to swell, causing edema.

Oftentimes there will be noticeable swelling of the ankles and abdomen. And much the weight gain that you experience can be water weight.


Another one of the common signs of thyroid problems is puffiness, especially of the face. And this is completely unrelated to weight. Even extremely skinny people can show puffiness, although it’s oftentimes not easily noticeable until after the hypothyroidism treatment has taken place and the difference is compared.

Swelling is most noticeable within the face, around the eyes and eyelids.

Hair, Skin, and Nails

signs of thyroid problemsYour hair can go through some noticeable changes when you suffer from hypothyroidism. More often than not, your hair becomes dry, course, and brittle.

Other hair related hypothyroidism symptoms include hair loss or thinning, from all areas of your body, including your head. And the loss of hair from the outer portion of your eyebrows as well as the loss of eyelashes.

Skin changes are yet another one of the many signs of thyroid problems. Much like your hair, your skin oftentimes becomes dry, thick, scaly, and coarse.

You nails can become more brittle, flaky, and begin to peel.

And many people notice a yellowish pigment to their skin and oftentimes dark circles underneath their eyes.

Cold Extremities

One of the most common signs is feeling cold, especially your extremities. But this also largely depends on the air temperature around you because if the air is relatively warm then you most likely won’t notice the difference.

A better indicator of cold extremities is to place your hand on your chest, underneath your shirt. This will give a good comparison of the difference between your core temperature and the temperature of your extremities. If your hand feels cold to your chest then this is a sign of hypothyroidism.

Mental Signs of Thyroid Problems

Another one of the more common signs of thyroid problems is the loss of mental ability that comes with it.

You can probably remember times of your life when you were younger when your mind was alert and quick to respond to just about anything. But now you suffer from mental sluggishness and you have a hard time concentrating on any task at hand.

And where the heck did you put your car keys?

Poor memory and concentration are two of the ill effects of hypothyroidism. And they typically are followed by a lack of motivation.

Medical Signs of Thyroid Problems

There are a multitude of physical signs of thyroid problems and I’ve listed some of the more common ones above. But there are also some very important medical signs that you should know about, which most people are completely unaware of.

Elevated Cholesterol

signs of thyroid problemsDid you know that your cholesterol levels were directly proportional to your thyroid function? The lower your thyroid function, the higher your cholesterol.

Studies have shown that when you treat your thyroid then your cholesterol levels fall to normal exactly at the same rate that your thyroid function returns to normal.

So why are you trying to use drugs to force your cholesterol down when your cholesterol isn’t the real problem? It doesn’t make sense to me either. And it makes perfect sense why cholesterol lowering drugs do NOT improve your risk of heart disease.

But now, you’re becoming educated and can understand that your high cholesterol is just one of the many signs of thyroid problems.

Low Morning Temperature

This is one of those pseudo-medical signs of thyroid problems because this is something that you can do in the comfort of your own home without the need of a doctor or fancy medical equipment. All you need is a thermometer and a night’s sleep.

If you take your basal (morning) temperature before you get out of bed in the morning, just after waking, then it has been shown to be a pretty accurate indicator of hypothyroidism.

If you’re morning temperature is 97.9° F (36.6° C) or lower, then your thyroid is struggling to keep your temperature up and you are hypothyroid.

Slow Achilles Reflex

The last of the signs of thyroid problems that I want to discuss is the Achilles reflex. When you become hypothyroid, your nerve reflexes slow down considerably. So oftentimes, before the popular lab testing of today, doctors used to test the Achilles reflex as one of the many indicators of hypothyroidism.

By simply propping your bent knee on a chair with your ankle hanging free, you can have someone trigger your Achilles reflex.

If your thyroid is functioning normally then your foot will quickly reflex and return to its normal resting position. If you are hypothyroid then your foot will quickly reflex but then it will be slower to return to its normal resting position. Some have even equated it to the effect of a pneumatic door that opens quickly but is slow and steady to return to its closed position.

So, there you have it. I’ve given you not only many of the physical and mental signs of thyroid problems but also some simple medical based tests that can give you even a better indicator of whether or not you are experiencing true hypothyroidism symptoms or if they are most likely related to something else. But keep in mind that as you age, your thyroid function naturally declines. So, eating according to a good hypothyroidism diet is always recommended to maintain the best of health.

Hypothyroidism in Men

Hypothyroidism in men is often overlooked due to the big misconception that thyroid problems are exclusive only to women.  It’s true that one doesn’t hear a lot about hypothyroidism in men, but it’s not because men aren’t susceptible. On the contrary, many men do suffer from hypothyroidism but unfortunately there is very little awareness and the condition is more often than not, misdiagnosed.

Because most doctors use weight as their main indicator as to the possible involvement of hypothyroidism, they all too often dismiss all of the other hypothyroidism symptoms that their patients present when their weight is not a problem.

Needless to say, there’s men need to do a much better job at recognizing the symptoms and addressing them with the appropriate hypothyroidism treatment.

If not addressed, a lack of thyroid hormone can eventually become a serious health problem which I’ll explain a second. This is why it is so important to have a good understanding of the symptoms of hypothyroidism in men and address the condition sooner than later. The longer you wait, the more difficult and longer the road to recovery.

Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism in Men

I want to cover some of the more common symptoms of hypothyroidism in men. But do keep in mind that this is just a very short list and there are a lot of other symptoms beyond these. For a more complete list, be sure to check out this list of hypothyroidism symptoms.

And keep in mind that eating the right hypothyroidism diet is key in helping men to overcome hypothyroidism.

Here are just a few of the symptoms of that are important to note:

Fatigue and Hypothyroidism in Men

Fatigue is one of the first signs that your thyroid is either not producing enough thyroid hormone or that your thyroid hormone is not getting delivered to your cells properly.

Hypothyroidism in men, if not addressed, will eventually interfere with your ability do normal activities. Some men report that they feel sluggish or experience a decrease in mobility and reaction time. Many complain that they feel so tired at work that they are concerned about falling asleep on the job.

Many men write fatigue off as something that just occurs with age instead of realizing that it’s not normal and that there is something that you can do about it.

Oftentimes stress hormones can keep you going as long as you stay active but once you sit down and try to relax, the fatigue kicks in and you have a difficult time staying awake.

Weight Gain and Hypothyroidism in Men

hypothyroidism in menWeight gain is yet another symptom that most men completely write off as a byproduct of age. You may have been an avid athlete in your youth but today, your weight is beyond your control.

Your thyroid controls your metabolism so it does play an integral role in the number of calories you burn, but it goes beyond that. Hormonal imbalances that are a byproduct of hypothyroidism play a big role as well. Stress hormones in particular cause fat to accumulate around your midsection.

In any case, slow and unexplained weight gain or the inability to lose weight are both common symptoms of hypothyroidism in men.

Sexual Dysfunction and Hypothyroidism in Men

This is a big one that men typically don’t talk about. But given that the little blue pill is one of the largest grossing drugs every single year, it’s safe to say that many men are relying on a little extra help.

Hypothyroidism can impact a man’s reproductive organs and associated hormones. A study on the Prevalence of sexual symptoms in male Hypo- and Hyper-Thyroid Patients, released by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in December, 2005, indicated there is a definite connection between specific sexual problems and hypothyroidism in men.

Research indicated that 64.3 percent of men suffering from hypothyroidism had common sexual problems such as:

  • Delayed ejaculation
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Infertility
  • Low sex drive
  • Premature ejaculation

The men were examined when their thyroid levels first revealed a problem with their thyroid and again two to four months after their thyroid levels returned to normal range.

Researchers found that men whose thyroid returned to normal function experienced prompt reversal of the symptoms of hypothyroidism in men.

Aches, Pains, and Hypothyroidism in Men

hypothyroidism in menHypothyroidism is also the cause of a lot of muscle aches, pains, cramps, tenderness, and stiffness as well as pain and swelling in the joints.

What have we learned from men so far? That most are going to ignore these symptoms and continue on with their restricted lives instead of dealing with the problem head on.

These aches and pains can be contributed to a number of causes. For starters, poor blood sugar handling is common cause for headaches and migraines, especially when the brain isn’t getting the nutrition it need to function properly.

There’s also the issue of calcium retention that occurs with hypothyroidism. When connective tissue retains calcium, it will begin to calcify the connective tissue leaving you stiff and uncomfortable.

Nutrient and mineral imbalances such as a magnesium deficiency which is also associated with hypothyroidism in men can also lead to aches, pains, and muscle cramps.

The increased estrogen associated with hypothyroidism can cause nerve swelling which can contribute to numbness and MS type pain symptoms.

High Cholesterol and Hypothyroidism in Men

It has been known since the 1940’s that cholesterol increases in direct proportion as thyroid function decreases. Yet today, doctors don’t seem to be aware of this very telling relationship.

In fact, during the 1940’s, doctors used cholesterol as a sign of hypothyroidism and would track it as an indicator that their hypothyroidism treatment plan was working. Your cholesterol will lower to normal levels at the same rate that your thyroid function returns to normal.

The medical community likes to use cholesterol as a risk indicator for heart disease but the truth is that it’s hypothyroidism and its negative effects on your body that lead to heart disease, not cholesterol itself.

Thyroid researcher and scientist Dr. Broda Barnes demonstrated this very phenomenon. In one of his research studies, he showed that by removing the thyroid gland and inducing hypothyroidism, heart disease developed. And by reversing the hypothyroidism, heart disease disappeared.

Even today, high cholesterol is becoming one of the more common hypothyroidism symptoms in women.

These are all common signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism in men that largely go undiagnosed or are diagnosed and improperly treated independent of hypothyroidism. By properly treating your hypothyroidism and taking it seriously, you can literally add years back to your life.