A hormone (thyroxine) produced by the gland located beneath the larynx (thyroid gland) serves as a regulator to ( among other things) body temperature, metabolism and heart rate. Things can get bad when the thyroid works too little or too much. Reasons for poor thyroid gland function may be genetics, pregnancy, stress, lack of nutrients, toxins in the environment, but the experts don’t have all the answers yet.
According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, at least 30 million Americans have thyroid disorder, while half of the cases with the condition are not even diagnosed. Women are ten times more prone to problems with the thyroid gland.
What are the symptoms of thyroid problems ?
Here are some symptoms which indicate that you should check the function of your thyroid gland:
You are anxious and impatient
These feelings can be associated with hyperthyroidism, when the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormones. Flooded with hormones your body may feel like it’s in “fifth gear”. There is also the possibility of rapid weight loss with hyperthyroidism.
Changes in appetite and taste of food
Increased appetite can be a sign of hyperthyroidism, because too many thyroid hormones can make you feeling hungry constantly. On the other hand, the delayed function of the thyroid gland can alter your taste and smell of food.
You’re too excited
Perhaps that feeling of excitement you have is a consequence of accelerated heartbeat. You can have a feeling like your heart skips or pounding too fast or too hard. It feel chest or when you tap the pulsating points in the throat or neck. The heartbeat can be a sign of hyperthyroidism.
You feel exhausted
A feeling of fatigue may be associated with numerous conditions, but there is a strong connection with hypothyroidism, disorder that happens due to the low thyroid hormones secretion. If you are tired as soon as you wake up, even if you had quality sleep all night, it could mean that the thyroid gland does not work well enough.
Feelings of sadness and lethargy may be associated with symptoms of low thyroid hormone secretion as well. Thyroid hormones may have an impact on the secretion of “the hormone of happiness” serotonin in the brain.
It may be a cause of lack of sleep or aging, but cognitive function can take a serious hit from thyroid gland’s poor function. High hormone levels can cause difficulties with concentration, While too little of the thyroid hormone, can cause “holes” in memory and make you forget things. Women often wrongly attribute these symptoms to menopause.
Low sex drive
Little or no little interest in sex life can be a consequence of the disruption of the work of the thyroid gland. Low levels of hormones can cause low libido, but the cumulative impact of the symptoms of hypothyroidism – obesity, lack of energy, pain in the body – also play a major role.
Dry peeling skin can be a sign of hypothyroidism. Changes in skin texture and appearance are associated with slower metabolism, which, in turn, can reduce sweating. The skin becomes dry and the nails can become brittle and bumpy.
The work of the intestine is unpredictable
People with hypothyroidism sometimes complain of constipation. On the other hand, excessive production of the thyroid hormones can cause diarrhea or frequent stools.
Disturbed menstrual cycle (in women)
Longer periods and stronger pain can be a sign of hypothyroidism. Also, shorter time between two menstrual periods can be observed. In hyperthyroidism, the bleeding is milder and shorter, and the distance between the two menstrual periods is greater.
Painful limbs or muscles
If you suddenly have a sense of numbness or pain in the hands, legs, feet or hands, it could be a sign of hypothyroidism. Over time, too little thyroid hormones can damage the nerves from the brain and spinal cord that send signals throughout the body. The result is inexplicable tingling pain in the limbs, as well as numbness.
High blood pressure
This can also be a sign of disruption of the work of the thyroid gland. The same goes for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Impaired regulation of body temperature
The sensation of cold is associated with hypothyroidism, on the other hand, those with hyperthyroidism feel the reverse symptoms – sometimes they feel too hot and sweat excessively.
Strange feeling in the neck
Changes in your voice or the feeling of a lump in the throat are associated with poor function of the thyroid gland. Examine your neck and check to see if you have any signs of swelling of the thyroid gland.
Watch your throat while you drink water and try to see if there are some bumps in the area of the gland located below the larynx.
Are you sleepy all the time? Could be hypothyroidism because your lazy thyroid gland slows down your bodily functions. You can’t sleep? Could be hyperthyroidism. Excessive work of the thyroid gland could be causing insomnia and increases the pulse, which makes it sleeping hard.
Your hair falls off
Dry, brittle hair can be a sign of hypothyroidism. Very low hormone levels hinder the growth cycle of the hair which can cause hair loss. Too active gland also has a bad influence on your hear.
You can not get pregnant (for women)
Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism affect ovulation, so if you have been trying to get pregnant for a longer time, without sucess, maybe you should get your thyroid checked.
High levels of bad cholesterol that does not respond to diet, exercise or medication is associated with hypothyroidism. Untreated hypothyroidism can lead to heart problems, including enlarged heart and heart attack.