The thyroid gland secretes hormones help cells and tissues function throughout the body. These functions range from energy use by the body to nerves that signal the brain for mental activities.
The thyroid is involved in so processes that when it isn’t working properly, it can result in many different kinds of symptoms and health disorders. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the gland becomes overactive and produces too many hormones, while hypothyroidism stems from an underactive thyroid that doesn’t produce enough hormones.
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These 10 signs suggest the thyroid isn’t working the way it should. The symptoms may or may not signal thyroid disorders, but the gland could be the culprit if no other condition explains the signs. Consult with a doctor, who may recommend thyroid tests if a disorder is suspected.
1. Fatigue and exhaustion are common signs of a thyroid disorder. It happens when the thyroid doesn’t secrete enough hormones, slowing down cells and muscles. This may be the case if you wake up tired even if you’ve had enough sleep.
2. Anxiety might strike because the thyroid is producing too much of the hormone, wreaking havoc on your metabolism and making your body unable to relax.
3. Change in appetite or weight gain can come from an overactive or underactive thyroid. You could feel hungry all the time with an overabundance of thyroid hormone. Weight gain occurs from an underactive thyroid even when you’re eating a healthy diet or exercising regularly.
4. Low libido results from an underactive thyroid. A lack of desire for sex could also be caused by low energy, body aches, and weight gain from a thyroid disorder.
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5. Changes in the menstrual cycle could include longer periods, heavier flow, or more cramps from an underactive thyroid. Shorter periods that are farther apart could result from an overactive thyroid.
6. Heart palpitations might occur from hyperthyroidism because of too much thyroid hormone in the system. Symptoms include a pounding heart, quick heart rate, or skipping and fluttering heartbeats.
7. High blood pressure is a symptom of both overactive and underactive thyroid disorders. Too much or too little of the thyroid hormone affects the way the heart pumps blood.
8. High cholesterol is linked to thyroid problems when diet, exercise, and medication have failed to lower levels. An underactive thyroid could increase levels of LDL cholesterol, which clogs the arteries and may lead to heart disease if not treated.
9. Digestive problems from thyroid disorders could include constipation and diarrhea. Too little of thyroid hormone may cause constipation complaints while too much of the hormone can lead to diarrhea or changes in bowel movements.
10. Depression can occur if the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones. It might cause low levels of serotonin, the so-called “feel good” chemical in the brain.
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