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8 Troublesome Symptoms of a Thyroid Disorder

The thyroid, a small gland located in the neck, plays a crucial role in regulating various body functions through the production of hormones. Thyroid malfunctions can lead to a range of symptoms that often go unnoticed or are mistaken for other health issues.

The experienced team at Summit Primary Care in Colorado shares eight troublesome symptoms that may indicate a thyroid disorder.

 1. Unexplained weight changes

Sudden weight gain or loss is a common sign of thyroid dysfunction. Hypothyroidism, where the thyroid is underactive, can cause weight gain due to a slower metabolism. Conversely, hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid is overactive, can lead to weight loss despite an increased appetite.

 2. Fatigue and weakness

Persistent fatigue and muscle weakness are hallmark symptoms of thyroid disorders. In hypothyroidism, the body's metabolic processes slow down, leading to a constant feeling of tiredness, even after a full night's sleep. In hyperthyroidism, the body is in overdrive, which can also result in fatigue due to excessive energy expenditure.

 3. Mood swings and mental health issues

Thyroid hormones significantly impact mood and mental health. Hypothyroidism can cause depression, irritability, and memory problems. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, often leads to anxiety, nervousness, and difficulty concentrating. These mood changes can affect daily life and shouldn’t be ignored.

 4. Changes in heart rate

A noticeable change in heart rate can be a red flag for thyroid problems. Hypothyroidism can cause a slower heart rate (bradycardia), leading to feelings of weakness and dizziness. Hyperthyroidism can cause a rapid heart rate (tachycardia), palpitations, and even atrial fibrillation, a serious heart rhythm disorder.

 5. Swelling in the neck

A visible swelling or lump in the neck, known as a goiter, can indicate a thyroid disorder. This swelling is often accompanied by a feeling of tightness in the throat, difficulty swallowing, or hoarseness. A goiter can occur in both hypo- and hyperthyroidism and warrants a medical evaluation.

 6. Hair and skin changes

Thyroid disorders can lead to noticeable changes in hair and skin. Hypothyroidism often causes dry, coarse skin, and thinning hair. You can lose hair from your scalp and other areas of your body as well. Hyperthyroidism can result in fragile hair that breaks easily and excessive sweating, leading to warm and moist skin.

 7. Digestive issues

The thyroid hormone levels significantly affect the digestive system. Hypothyroidism can lead to constipation due to slowed digestion, while hyperthyroidism can cause diarrhea or more frequent bowel movements. These digestive changes can be uncomfortable and disruptive to daily life.

 8. Menstrual and fertility problems

Thyroid disorders can impact menstrual cycles and fertility for women. Hypothyroidism can cause heavy or irregular menstrual periods and, in some cases, infertility. Hyperthyroidism can lead to lighter, less frequent periods and also affect fertility. These issues often resolve with appropriate thyroid treatment but require medical attention.

The importance of early detection and treatment

If you notice symptoms that indicate you might have a thyroid disorder, reach out to our team as soon as possible for a timely diagnosis and treatment. We can check your thyroid health and provide early detection and management as needed, which can significantly improve your quality of life and prevent complications. 

For thyroid problem diagnosis and treatment, call the office nearest you in La Junta, Denver, Colorado Springs, or Pueblo, Colorado, or click here to schedule online today.

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