Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that is responsible for the hormones that control many parts of your metabolism. If you’re experiencing thyroid issues, they can be difficult to diagnose on their own, as they can often be mistaken for other health problems. A doctor can order tests to check your thyroid levels and diagnose a problem. Many people don’t know when they have thyroid issues, but there are some warning signs that you can watch out for.
Here are some of the warning signs of thyroid issues that you can keep an eye out for. If you’re experiencing the following issues, it’s always a good idea to schedule an appointment and talk to your doctor about them, so that you can restore your body to optimal health.
#1. Weight Changes
Your thyroid regulates your metabolism. As such, if it is over- or underactive, this can impact your weight. People with hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) can experience weight gain and difficulty losing weight. People with hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) can experience weight loss and difficulty gaining weight.
Depending on where you are in life, weight loss or weight gain may be something you wanted. However, unexpected weight loss or weight gain as a result of thyroid issues can cause unwanted changes and lead to a whole host of problems. For instance, if your weight loss is because of hyperthyroidism, you could end up malnourished because your body is burning far more calories than you are consuming.
#2. Difficulty Regulating Body Temperature
Another warning sign that you may have thyroid issues includes if you’re always hot or always cold. People with hypothyroidism can find themselves reaching for sweaters and blankets when the temperature is fine for everyone else. People with hyperthyroidism can find themselves hot and struggle to cool themselves down, even if no one else is overly hot.
This is because the hormones that your thyroid gland secretes regulate your body temperature too. That means that if your metabolism slows down because of hypothyroidism, you can experience more sensitivity to the cold, while if it speeds up because of hyperthyroidism, you’re more sensitive to the heat.
#3. Changed Energy Levels
If you have an overactive thyroid, you can end up feeling nervous and anxious and sweating, because your hyperthyroidism is sending your body into overdrive. Conversely, if you have an underactive thyroid, you can end up feeling fatigued and struggling to muster the energy to do anything.
People with hyperthyroidism may find themselves struggling with overactive thoughts while people with hypothyroidism may find themselves struggling with brain fog and sluggish thoughts.
#4. Digestive Issues
Since your thyroid impacts your metabolism, it’s no wonder that it also impacts your digestive process. People who struggle with hypothyroidism may find themselves constipated because their digestive system has slowed down. On the other hand, people with hyperthyroidism may struggle with more frequent bowel movements because of how their thyroid issues have sped up their digestive process.
#5. Increased Or Decreased Heart Rate
Another warning sign of thyroid issues is changes in your heart rate. If your thyroid is producing too much thyroid hormone, this can cause your heart rate to speed up, resulting in palpitations or irregular beats. If your body is not producing enough of the thyroid hormone, this can slow your heart rate down, which can end up causing your arteries to lose elasticity over time.
#6. Hair Loss
Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause hair loss. This hair loss tends to involve the entire scalp, rather than select areas. You may notice an abnormal amount of hair loss when you shower or brush your hair and your hair may start to appear thinner. When you obtain treatment for your thyroid issues, your hair can grow back.
#7. Skin Issues
If your thyroid issues are because your thyroid isn’t producing enough of the thyroid hormone, you may find yourself struggling with dry and patchy skin. If your thyroid is producing too much of the thyroid hormone, you may find yourself struggling with moist and oily skin.
What To Do If You Suspect You Have Thyroid Issues
Unless you have a goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) or thyroid nodules, it can be very challenging to know whether your symptoms are the result of thyroid issues or another condition. If you suspect that you may have thyroid issues, you will want to schedule an appointment with your doctor so that they can test your thyroid and then formulate a treatment plan from there.
Life Health Medical Center provides treatment for thyroid issues. If you are struggling with symptoms that could be because of an under- or overactive thyroid, schedule an appointment to get your thyroid checked today. We’re here to help you regain your health.