Uncommon symptoms of hypothyroidism


Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

The most common thyroid disorder is hypothyroidism. Hypo- means deficient or under(active), so hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is underperforming or producing too little thyroid hormone..

Recognizing the symptoms of hypothyroidism is extremely important. The earlier you detect the symptoms and bring your concerns to your doctor’s attention, the sooner you can begin receiving proper treatment to manage this thyroid disorder.

Here is a list of the most common symptoms associated with hypothyroidism:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight (despite reduced food intake)
  • Coarse, dry hair and dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Muscle cramps and aches
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Decreased libido
  • Slowed speech (in severe cases)
  • Jaundice (in severe cases)
  • Increase in tongue size (in severe cases)

You don’t have to encounter every one of these symptoms to be diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Every patient’s experience with the disorder is different. While you may notice that your skin and hair have become dry and rough, another patient may be plagued more by fatigue and depression.

The thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level reflects the severity of the hypothyroidism. For example, if you have a mild form of hypothyroidism and a relatively lower TSH level, you may not notice—or even have—symptoms. That’s because your hormone levels haven’t decreased to the point where they have a major impact on your metabolism. The more hypothyroid you become, the more symptomatic you’ll be.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism aren’t always noticeable, but it’s important that you understand what to look out for. Recognizing hypothyroidism early on will allow you to manage the disorder and prevent it from interfering with your life.

Updated on: 01/18/19 Continue Reading Causes of Hypothyroidism View Sources

Quick Checklist: Over 300 Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism

Who would imagine that when the little butterfly shaped Thyroid gland in our neck goes out of whack, it can, potentially, trigger system-wide effects in our bodies. The hypothyroidism symptoms checklist is unbelievably long for this very reason. Let’s go through this simple checklist today to look for symptoms that could assist in understanding whether you suffer from hypothyroidism, or not.
Please note: You can search through this list by using the ‘Search’ function in your browser and find your symptom(s).

11 Hypothyroidism Symptoms Related To Energy and Sleep:

  1. Chronic fatigue
  2. Having lesser stamina than most people
  3. Long recovery period after an activity
  4. An inability to concentrate
  5. Sleep apnea
  6. Snoring
  7. Insomnia
  8. Needing naps in the afternoon
  9. Weakness
  10. Waking up tired
  11. Frequently oversleeping

9 Signs of Weight-Related Symptoms of Hypothyroid:

  1. Weight gain
  2. Inability to lose weight
  3. Ascites (abdominal fluid accumulation)
  4. Metabolic Syndrome
  5. Weight loss
  6. Anorexia
  7. Heightened appetite
  8. Diminished appetite
  9. Obesity

13 Changes In Body Temperature (Which May Point To Hypothyroidism):

  1. Cold extremities
  2. Cold sweats
  3. Night sweats
  4. Heat intolerance
  5. Cold intolerance
  6. Internal shivering
  7. Hypothermia
  8. Cold hands
  9. Clammy palms
  10. Cold feet
  11. Excessive perspiration
  12. Little perspiration
  13. Low basal body temperature (below 97.8 degrees Fahrenheit)

4 Signs of Slow Reflexes Due To Hypothyroid:

  1. Slow movements
  2. Slowed Achilles reflex
  3. Diminished reflexes
  4. Slow speech

16 Infection-Related Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:

  1. Frequent infections
  2. Chronic illness
  3. Low immune system
  4. Frequent colds
  5. Frequent flus
  6. Susceptibility to bronchitis
  7. Hard time recovering from infections
  8. Recurrent sinus infections
  9. Recurrent skin infections
  10. Recurrent ear infections
  11. Recurrent nose infections
  12. Recurrent throat infections
  13. Candida (yeast)
  14. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  15. Repeated urinary tract infections
  16. Upper respiratory tract infections

RELATED: Hypothyroidism: Top Dietary Supplements To Support

22 Underlying Autoimmune or Endocrine Diseases Associated With Hypothyroidism:

  1. Hashimoto’s Disease
  2. Graves’ Disease
  3. Celiac disease
  4. Type 1 Diabetes
  5. Type 2 Diabetes
  6. Insulin Resistance
  7. Addison’s disease
  8. Cushing’s disease
  9. Pernicious Anemia
  10. Premature ovarian decline
  11. Premature ovarian failure
  12. Alopecia
  13. Reynaud’s syndrome
  14. Sjögren’s syndrome
  15. Chronic fatigue syndrome
  16. Rheumatoid arthritis
  17. Systemic lupus erythematosus
  18. Multiple sclerosis
  19. Sarcoidosis
  20. Scleroderma
  21. Vitiligo
  22. Psoriasis

Swelling & Thickened Skin In These 11 Areas – Hypothyroid Symptoms:

  1. Eyes
  2. Face
  3. Lips
  4. Neck
  5. Hands
  6. Arms
  7. Legs
  8. Feet
  9. Ankles
  10. Lymphedema
  11. Lipedema

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism Related To Changes In Various Parts of The Body:

Mouth and Throat

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sensation of a lump in the throat
  • Sensation of pressure on the throat
  • Pain and tenderness in the neck and/or thyroid area
  • Difficulty taking deep breaths
  • Goiter
  • Thyroid nodules
  • Burning sensation in the throat
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen tongue
  • Choking fits
  • Distorted sense of taste (Dysgeusia)
  • Salt cravings
  • Sweet cravings
  • Speech problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Propensity for cavities
  • Propensity for gum disease
  • Low, husky, hoarse voice
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Irritated gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Persistent teeth clenching
  • TMJ


  • Oversensitive hearing
  • Noises in the ears (hissing, ringing)
  • Deafness
  • Tinnitus
  • Internal itching of ears
  • Dry, scaly ear canal
  • Excess earwax
  • Vertigo


  • Poor focus
  • Double vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Gritty eyes
  • Achy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Sensitive to light
  • Frequent eye tics
  • Eyelid spasms
  • Bulging of the eyeballs
  • Red eyes (inflamed)
  • Dark rings under the eyes
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • A rapidly shifting gaze that makes you feel dizzy
  • Problems with night vision
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts


  • Hair loss
  • Dry hair
  • Frizzy hair
  • Brittle hair
  • Coarse hair
  • Finer hair
  • Premature baldness
  • Premature gray hair
  • Changes in the hair texture
  • Body-hair loss
  • Eyelash loss
  • Facial hair in women
  • Thinning or loss of outside third of the eyebrows


  • Brittle
  • Pale
  • Soft
  • Yellowish
  • Ridged
  • Striated
  • Thickened
  • Ingrown toenails


  • Dry skin
  • Dry and itchy scalp
  • Flaky skin
  • Cracked heels
  • Coarse patches
  • Yellowish or amber tint to the skin
  • Dry mucous membranes
  • Pale skin
  • Pale lips
  • Boils
  • Pigmentation in skin creases
  • Rashes
  • Skin tags
  • Dermographia (wheals)
  • Eczema
  • Impetigo
  • Cellulitis
  • Easy bruising
  • Tendency to form blood clots
  • Slow wound healing
  • Hemophilia
  • Bumps on legs
  • Acne
  • Breakouts on the chest and the arms
  • Raynaud’s Phenomenon (discoloration of digits)
  • Chronic itching
  • Varicose veins
  • Premature aging
  • Parchment-like fine wrinkles
  • Red butterfly patch over cheeks and nose
  • Absence or diminished perspiration
  • Moles and warty growths
  • Lichen Sclerosus
  • Vitiligo
  • Allergies
  • Hives


  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Brain fog
  • Mental sluggishness
  • Poor concentration
  • Noises and/or voices in head
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Mania
  • Phobias
  • Obsessions
  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Rage
  • Loss of drive
  • Personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Nightmares
  • Bipolar tendencies
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • ADHD
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease

Kidney and Bladder

  • Albuminuria (protein in urine)
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Decreased output of urine
  • Interstitial cystitis (chronic bladder problems)
  • Urinary incontinence while sleeping
  • Kidney stones
  • Recurrent kidney infections
  • Recurrent bladder infections
  • Irritable bladder syndrome
  • Chronic kidney failure


  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Gallstones


  • Liver tenderness and enlargement
  • Congestion of the liver
  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Hypoglycemia


  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Air hunger
  • Pleural effusion (fluid around the lung)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in chest
  • Pneumonia


  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow/weak pulse (under 60 bpm)
  • Fast pulse (over 90 bpm at rest)
  • Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Skipped heartbeats
  • Heart flutters
  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • High cholesterol
  • High triglycerides
  • High LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Elevated C-Reactive Protein
  • Fibrillations
  • Plaque buildup
  • Fluid retention
  • Poor circulation
  • Enlarged heart
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack

Other Related Conditions which could be signs of Hypothyroid:

  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Hyponatremia (low blood sodium)
  • Lack of coordination
  • Clumsiness
  • Tendency to fall
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting episodes
  • Vertigo
  • Tremors
  • Growth disturbances in children
  • Chronic allergies
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Rhabdomyolysis (destruction of skeletal muscle)
  • Scoliosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hernia

Numbness and Tingling In The Following:

  • Legs
  • Feet
  • Arms
  • Hands
  • Back
  • Face

Other Hypothyroidism Symptoms Triggered In Various Parts of The Body:


  • Migraines
  • Chronic headaches
  • Chronic back and loin pain
  • Wrist pain
  • Muscles and joint pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (hands or forearms)
  • Tarsal Tunnel syndrome (legs)
  • Joint stiffness
  • Tendonitis
  • Heel spur
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Painful soles of the feet
  • Muscle cramps
  • Aching bones
  • Aching muscles
  • Joint pain
  • TMJ
  • Fibromyalgia


  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hard stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Food allergies
  • Food sensitivity
  • Alcohol intolerance
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Celiac Disease
  • Gluten Sensitivity/Intolerance
  • Colitis
  • Abdominal distention
  • Weight gain in abdominal area
  • Protruding abdomen in children
  • Diverticulosis
  • Excess gas
  • Flatulence
  • Nausea
  • Ulcers
  • Acid Reflux
  • Excessive belching
  • GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Menstrual Disorders

  • Cessation of periods (amenorrhoea)
  • Scanty (light) periods (oligomenorrhoea)
  • Heavy periods (menorrhagia)
  • Irregular periods
  • Very short cycles
  • Very long cycles
  • Severe cramping
  • Failure to ovulate
  • Constant bleeding
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Premenstrual tension (PMT)
  • Extreme bloating and water retention
  • Premature or delayed puberty
  • Premature or delayed menopause
  • Difficult menopause
  • Hysterectomy
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian fibroids
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Reproductive Disorders and Pregnancy

  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • In vitro fertilization failure
  • Donor egg failure
  • Abnormal estrogen levels
  • Abnormal progesterone levels
  • Abnormal testosterone levels
  • A drop in sperm count
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of libido
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Painful sex
  • Breasts leaking milk (but not lactating or breastfeeding)
  • Fibrocystic breast disease
  • Maternal anemia
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Placental abruption
  • Postpartum hemorrhage
  • Prolonged labor
  • Inability to dilate
  • Poor wound healing
  • Pain in and around C-section scar
  • Difficulty in breastfeeding
  • Low breast milk supply
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Long gestation
  • High birth weight
  • Newborn with deficits in intellectual development
  • Newborns with jaundice
  • Autism
  • Birth defects

Emotional Troubles

  • Tension
  • Irritability
  • Wanting to be solitary
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Personality changes
  • Feelings of resentment
  • Jumpy
  • Easily startled
  • Lack of confidence
  • Nervousness


  • Skin Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Endocrine Cancers
  • Lung Cancer
  • Breast Cancer

Phew! The endless list of hypothyroidism symptoms is mind-boggling. That’s how important the thyroid gland is. It impacts our everyday functioning in more ways than we could imagine. But, don’t get rattled by this list. It has been compiled for readers, solely, to increase awareness of hypothyroidism symptoms. Do drop in at the doctor’s to clarify things though, just in case you feel like you’ve been experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms. Getting the required tests done is the best way to eliminate the stress of speculation and combat potential problems head on.

Our deep thanks to Dana Trentini, an expert on this subject, for compiling this list of hypothyroidism symptoms from several scientific sources.
Source: www.hypothyroidmom.com


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Mahesh Jayaraman

Co-Founder at Sepalika Mahesh is a traditional acupressure therapist and health counselor. He is certified in Functional Nutrition from Washington State University and uses a wide array of healing modalities to guide his clients to vibrant health and well-being.

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8 Surprising Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

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When most people think of hypothyroidism symptoms, fatigue and weight gain usually come to mind. But hypothyroidism symptoms vary from person to person, says Antonio Bianco, MD, PhD, an endocrinologist at the BiancoLab at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Knowing what hypothyroidism truly looks and feels like starts with learning about the so-called “hallmark” symptoms — those most often experienced by people diagnosed with hypothyroidism — as well as the lesser-known symptoms that might catch you off guard.

Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

When the thyroid gland is underactive, it doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone, and this begins to slow down the body’s processes, according to the American Thyroid Association. As a result, one of the major symptoms of hypothyroidism is low energy.

“People might complain that it’s very hard to get up in the morning,” Dr. Bianco says. They might fall asleep quickly once they sit down during the day.

In addition, because the thyroid gland normally increases energy expenditure, hypothyroidism slows metabolism, which can lead to a sensitivity to cold as well as weight gain. When hypothyroidism is severe, it could slow down metabolism by as much as half.

However, some people with hypothyroidism may not gain weight, and when they do it’s often because of water retention, according to Bianco’s research.

Unexpected Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

While fatigue and slower metabolism are widely known as being associated with hypothyroidism, you may also experience several other symptoms, including:

1. Depression. Hypothyroidism causes the brain to slow down. This can make it difficult to focus, which could lead to clinical depression. “It’s underestimated how much hypothyroidism can cause depression,” Bianco says. When mood is compromised, people may also say they feel weak and stiff.

2. Memory problems. Although hypothyroidism can cause trouble with memory, the encouraging news is that researchers don’t believe it leads to permanent cognitive dysfunction, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Neurology in 2014.

3. Frequent constipation. Hypothyroidism may also slow down the digestive system, which can lead to chronic constipation.

4. Dry skin. Thyroid hormone plays a key role in healthy skin. Bianco says that dry skin is a common complaint among people with hypothyroidism.

5. Hair loss. People who had undiagnosed hypothyroidism for several months as well as those with severe cases may sustain hair loss over much of their scalp.

6. Changes in the menstrual cycle. For women with hypothyroidism, the menstrual period might be longer or shorter, or the volume of blood may increase.

7. Infertility. Fertility doctors usually check the thyroid, Bianco says. If hypothyroidism is found to be the cause of infertility, treating it often leads to successful pregnancy.

8. High cholesterol. Low levels of thyroid hormones and high levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which the body produces to stimulate the thyroid gland to secrete more thyroid hormone, can lead to high cholesterol.

Two studies published in 2012 in the journal Clinical Thyroidology found that higher TSH levels were associated with higher cholesterol levels. Minor hypothyroidism, however, usually doesn’t affect cholesterol, says Sanjay Dixit, MD, an endocrinologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

In addition to these symptoms, if hypothyroidism goes untreated it may also lead to a puffy face, hoarseness, thinning eyebrows, slow speech, thickened skin, and trouble with taste and smell.

Treating Hypothyroidism

Informing your doctor about your symptoms is important, but you won’t be diagnosed with hypothyroidism unless a blood test confirms you have it. Dr. Dixit says good guidelines don’t exist for routine checks of thyroid hormone levels. If you’re not complaining about hypothyroidism symptoms, your doctor may not include a thyroid check during an annual physical, he says.

Also, if you’re being treated for depression with an antidepressant but your depression symptoms aren’t improving, the depression could be caused by hypothyroidism, Bianco says. In that case, the depression wouldn’t be relieved unless the hypothyroidism is addressed, he says.

That’s why telling your doctor about all of your symptoms is important to give a complete picture of what you’re experiencing. Hypothyroidism is easy to test for and treat. For many people with hypothyroidism, treatment can successfully relieve symptoms.

Thyroid gland problems can range from weight gain to hair loss to depression, but these 7 thyroid symptoms are less recognized and often missed by many doctors.

Related product: Thyroid Support

7 Thyroid Symptoms Most People Don’t Know About

#1. You may not taste or smell things the same if you’re hypothyroid.

Too little thyroid hormone can cause alterations to how we taste and smell, which will mess with your enjoyment of food big time! Notice your sense of smell has changed? I recommend a full thyroid panel, plus testing for zinc deficiency, which is also a common cause of changes in our ability to smell.

In a 1975 study (yes, you read 1975!), it was concluded that change in the sense of smell and taste are “common clinical abnormalities of primary hypothyroidism.” This is a big reason why hypothyroidism can cause you to become adverse to food and lose your appetite.

Good news! When the hypothyroidism is treated, these senses come back! That makes this little foodie super happy!

Your thyroid depends on essential nutrients to thrive. If you’re not eating these top foods then your thyroid isn’t getting the nutrients it needs. Grab my free meal plan and recipe guide to help you improve your hormones today!

#2. Hashimoto’s & Grave’s disease can cause eye disorders.

In Hashi’s you can have episodes of elevated thyroid hormone, similar to Grave’s disease. These can stimulate the eyes to grow, which can cause them to “stick out.” Protruding or what is sometimes called “bulging” eyes can lead to damage to to the outer layer of the eye known as the cornea.

I have a patient who reported to me on her first visit that she had blinked off her cornea due to untreated hyperthyroidism. Yes, her own eyelids caused abrasions to her eyes and had a serious impact on her vision! Luckily, her eye doctor recognized what was happening and referred her my way to get down with some serious root cause medicine!

If you feel like your eyes are often itchy, you’ve got a delay when trying to close your eyelids or changes in vision then it’s a good idea to schedule with an ophthalmologist to have a thorough evaluation. And of course, test that thyroid!

#3. HCG (the pregnancy hormone) also stimulates thyroid production in a pregnant woman.

That’s because baby depends on mom to make their thyroid hormone during the first half of pregnancy. And it isn’t T3 (active thyroid hormone) that baby needs, but T4. So your body, being the wise organism it is, allows HCG to stimulate the thyroid gland to increase production.

If you’re struggling with fatigue, constipation, dry skin, hair loss, depression in early pregnancy it may be because of hypothyroidism and not the typical hormone changes we see in pregnancy.

And ladies, please get your thyroid checked before you become pregnant, early in first trimester and postpartum. If your TSH is 2.5 or higher then you need to talk to your doctor about starting a thyroid medication for baby’s health. Your doctor can help you determine the best course of treatment for you. Postpartum thyroid disease affects 1 in 12 women worldwide.

If you’re looking for most support as you transition into motherhood, check out my book Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth!

#4. SIBO is really common in hypothyroid patients.

We test for SIBO in every hypothyroid woman in my clinic and you know what—it’s there the majority of the time. Luckily, I’ve got a rock’n SIBO protocol that I couple with some solid individualized tools to clear SIBO for good.

In my clinic we use 3 supplements in combination to help with SIBO symptoms. I’ve had great success with Gut Clear, Gut Rebuild, and Digest for hypothyroid women struggling with digestive issues.

If you have gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or other gut symptoms then this may be due to hypothyroidism. The only way to know is to test!

#5. Thyroid hormone is needed to make hydrochloric acid (stomach acid).

That means without it you can’t break down food to get all the nutrients you need to heal your hypothyroidism. This is why heartburn can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. There are truly a lot of ways thyroid disease can affect the gut. Read more about how your digestive symptoms may be due to a thyroid disorder.

#6. Period Problems

Got period problems? I’m talking irregular cycles, spotting between periods, heavy bleeding, cramps, and mood swings. This may very well be a sign of thyroid disease. In my clinic, we always test thyroid when our patients complain of period problems. In my mind, there is no exception to testing thyroid in women…after all, we are at the highest risk.

#7. Thyroid symptoms since starting the pill? The Birth Control Pill can lead to hypothyroidism.

The pill causes an increase in thyroid binding globulin, which binds your free thyroid hormone. While some studies have stated the pill actually increases thyroid hormone, it is a basic misunderstanding of thyroid physiology that has created so much confusion. Let me break it down.

You use FREE thyroid hormone. That’s all your cells can use. If you bind all that free hormone then what you have is an elevation of TOTAL thyroid hormone. So, if you’re only looking at total thyroid hormone then it would appear the pill does increase thyroid hormone. But you CAN’T use it! So sure, it may look like thyroid hormone is up, but what you need to feel happy, fully of energy and maintain your mood is unavailable. I take a deeper dive into The Pill-Thyroid Connection here.

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About The Author

Dr. Jolene Brighten

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Dr. Jolene Brighten, NMD, is one of the leading experts in women’s medicine and is a pioneer in her exploration of the far-reaching impact of hormonal birth control and the little known side effects that impact health in a large way. In her best selling book, Beyond the Pill, she shares her clinical protocols aimed at supporting women struggling with symptoms of hormone imbalance, including Post-Birth Control Pill Syndrome and birth control related side effects. A trained nutritional biochemist and Naturopathic Physician, Dr. Brighten is the founder and Clinic Director at Rubus Health, an integrative women’s medicine clinic. She is a member of the MindBodyGreen Collective and has been featured in prominent media outlets such as Forbes, Cosmopolitan, ABC news, and the New York Post. Read more about me here.

10 Little Known Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

By: Hotze Health | Comments: 1 | January 29th, 2019

Here are 10 little known hypothyroidism symptoms, or diagnoses that can be caused by hypothyroidism:

1. Fibromyalgia

Hypothyroidism is a common cause of fibromyalgia, which is a latin word for muscle pain. Research shows that hypothyroidism is more common than is generally realized, and should be considered as a possible diagnosis in all patients complaining of generalized muscular pain and stiffness (fibromyalgia).(1)

2. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

First of all, chronic fatigue syndrome is not a disease in itself, but rather a name for a collection of symptoms, the primary one being extreme, ongoing fatigue. While there are many causes of fatigue, including the Epstein-Barr virus, Lyme disease, chemotherapy, lack of sleep, and so on, our focus today is on two very common causes that are often overlooked by most traditionally trained doctors.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. If your thyroid gland is making enough thyroid hormones, but those hormones are not properly used at the cellular level, then you can still experience the symptoms of hypothyroidism, referred to as type 2 hypothyroidism. With hypothyroidism, your metabolism slows down and you don’t have the energy you need to function well, and the resulting fatigue is a very common symptom.

3. Depression

Research shows a definite connection between hypothyroidism and depression, and it has been well established that depression is a symptom of low thyroid function. People with depression, anxiety and psychiatric problems often have low levels of thyroid hormone.

Thyroid hormone governs our body’s metabolism and energy production. Without adequate levels of thyroid hormone and its proper utilization, symptoms such as depression, anxiety, mood swings, brain fog and poor concentration become increasingly prevalent.

4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Hypothyroidism causes a slow metabolism which leads to constipation. Constipation is typical gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism prominently decreases the gastroesophageal motility and hence it is recommended to evaluate thyroid functions in admitted patients complaining dyspepsia. The results proved that hypothyroidism reduces esophageal and gastric motor activity. Motility disturbances in hypothyroidism can lead to GI dysfunction. (2)

5. Migraine Headaches

Hypothyroidism causes your metabolism to slow down, which slows your circulation and causes your body to retain water and mucin. The blood vessels and tissues in the brain swell and cause a migraine. Fatigue, which accompanies hypothyroidism, is often associated with migraines and can play an important role in initiating migraine attacks. Research suggests that patients with hypothyroidism have a higher risk of lifetime migraine than controls. (3) Research demonstrated that after levothyroxine treatment, 78% reported a decrease in headache frequency. Hypothyroid patients reported a similar alleviation of their headaches.(4)

6. Anxiety

Research shows a definite connection between hypothyroidism and anxiety. People with anxiety often have low levels of thyroid hormone.

Hypothyroidism results in a slowdown of cellular metabolism, which causes a drop in levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutric acid (GABA). GABA has a calming effect, which prevents the brain from being overwhelmed by stimulation. Moderately low levels of GABA are linked to anxiety, panic attacks and mood swings. Research demonstrates that anxiety is common in patients with thyroid dysfunction.(5) At the other end of the spectrum, too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) can also bring on anxiety and panic attacks.

7. Muscle and Joint Pain

Hypothyroidism can cause muscle aches and tenderness, and joint pain and stiffness. Hypothyroidism causes muscle and joint pain because fluid retention causes the swelling of muscles, and the swollen muscles press on nerves. Treating with thyroid hormone replacement offers great improvement and often resolves these symptoms.

8. Insomnia

Hypothyroidism is a common cause of poor sleep and insomnia. Thyroid hormones improve the quality of sleep, allowing you to spend more time in deep phases of sleep. It is also helpful for sleep apnea.

9. Memory Loss

Because the brain uses so much energy, individuals with hypothyroidism (slowed metabolism and less energy) tend to experience a decline in their mental sharpness, or brain fog. It becomes difficult to maintain focus, sharp memory and clarity. Low thyroid function is a common cause of brain fog, difficulty concentrating and short term memory loss.

10. Elevated Cholesterol

Adequate levels of thyroid hormone, especially the active form of the thyroid hormone, T3, are essential for the metabolism of cholesterol. In order for your body to remove excess cholesterol, the liver must be functioning optimally. Your liver converts the extra cholesterol into bile, which then leaves the body through elimination. If adequate amounts of thyroid hormone are not supplied, the liver’s ability to remove cholesterol out of the plasma is compromised. Research shows that hypothyroidism is one of the most common causes of high cholesterol.

Do you have symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Do you have other hypothyroidism symptoms such as weight gain, cold hands and feet, difficulty concentrating, hair loss, dry skin, and menstrual irregularities? This is a clue that low thyroid function could very well be the underlying cause of your symptoms. However, has your doctor told you that your blood work is “normal?” Hypothyroidism is commonly misdiagnosed because of the TSH blood test.

Please note that the TSH blood test is not the most accurate way to diagnose hypothyroidism. While your thyroid gland may be producing enough thyroid hormones so that the TSH blood test falls within the normal range, your cells may not be able to use those hormones efficiently, which is why you could still have symptoms of hypothyroidism.

It is important that you find a doctor who will evaluate your clinical symptoms and history, as well as your basal body temperature. A low body temperature is indicative of hypothyroidism.

Don’t wait – take our symptom checker quiz now to find out if you have symptoms of hypothyroidism. Contact us today for a complimentary wellness consultation at 281-698-8698. It’s time to finally get the health answers you’ve been searching for!

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4. Headache in Recent Onset Hypothyroidism: Prevalence, Characteristics and Outcome After Treatment with Levothyroxine
5. Prevalence of Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms Among Patients with Hypothyroidism

Complete tests for thyroid function include three measurements: for the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) produced by the thyroid itself, and for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH, also called thyrotropin) produced by the pituitary gland to regulate the thyroid. Production of thyroid hormones requires iodine in the diet, found in high amounts in iodized salt, eggs, sea vegetables like kelp, fish and shellfish from ocean waters and unpasteurized dairy products.

Even when blood levels of thyroid hormone are normal, if the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone is low (so-called subclinical hyperthyroidism), serious problems can result. In a Swiss study of 70,298 men and women followed for a decade, among the 2,219 who had subclinical hyperthyroidism, the risk of fractures – especially hip fractures – was significantly elevated.

Likewise, subclinical hypothyroidism (normal levels of thyroid hormone but too much thyroid-stimulating hormone) may raise the risk of heart problems, especially in young and middle-aged adults. Treatment of this condition with the drug levothyroxine may reduce this risk, according to a British study.

Although the United States Preventive Services Task Force has not yet found sufficient evidence to recommend routine thyroid screening of people without obvious symptoms, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists believes thyroid levels should be routinely measured in older people, especially women. And the American Thyroid Association recommends screening adults for TSH starting at age 35 and repeating the test every five years.

Experts believe that between 40 percent and 60 percent of people with thyroid disease do not know they have it. Yet, even for subclinical disorders, proper diagnosis and relatively simple treatment of abnormal thyroid levels can result in a much improved quality of life.

People found to have low levels of thyroid hormone can be easily treated with a daily pill of synthetic hormone, levothyroxine (marketed under such names as Synthroid and Levoxyl), starting with a low dose and gradually increasing (or decreasing) the amount as indicated by careful monitoring. Patients often experience diminished symptoms after about two weeks of hormone treatment.

However, diagnosing subclinical hypothyroidism can be tricky. Dr. Robin P. Peeters of Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands recently noted in The New England Journal of Medicine that about 75 percent of patients with this condition have test results that suggest only mild thyroid failure, which doctors may not consider serious.

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