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Hypothyroidism Symptoms Checklist

By HERWriter
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Hypothyroidism related image Photo: Getty Images

Hypothyroidism is the condition that results when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. This hormone is a chemical messenger used by the brain to regulate functions in the body including metabolism.

Hypothyroidism symptoms checklist
Because this condition is caused by a shortage of a chemical in the body, hypothyroidism symptoms often come on gradually and may be difficult to notice at first.

Common symptoms include:

Fatigue – feeling tired or unusually sleepy even after a good night’s sleep

Difficulty thinking – it may be harder to concentrate or pay attention, or you may have difficulty remembering things
Weight gain – you may gain weight slowly or have a harder time losing weight even when eating less
Swelling in the legs
Hair changes – hair may feel drier or more coarse, or you may lose more hair than usual
Skin changes – your skin may feel drier or you may look pale. Fingernails may become dry and brittle.
Muscle cramps and aches
Cold sensitivity – it may be harder to tolerate cold
Menstrual changes – women may have abnormal monthly cycles for their periods or may have heavier periods

Mild hypothyroidism may not cause any symptoms, or symptoms may be mistaken for other conditions. It is important to note that symptoms can vary dramatically from one person to the next. You may not have all or even most of these symptoms if you have hypothyroidism.

Severe hypothyroidism symptoms
If the condition is left untreated the symptoms of hypothyroidism can become more severe over time. Symptoms that may develop late in the disease include:

• Reduced senses of taste and smell
• Speech difficulties – voice may sound hoarse and speech may become slower
• Puffiness – the skin on the face, hands, and feet can become puffy
• Skin may become thicker
• Eyebrows may become thinner
• Drop in body temperature

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EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for providing this helpful article on hypothyroidism. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism following the birth of my first son in 2006 and experienced many of the symptoms you have listed. I trusted my doctors completely assuming they knew everything there was to know about this disease, especially when I became pregnant again in late 2008. How wrong I was! Under their care my TSH, the gold standard for measuring thyroid function, rose high above the safe range for pregnancy and I miscarried. I vowed to myself that I would research everything there was to know about hypothyroidism and warn other women. I fulfilled my vow and launched my blog Hypothyroid Mom in memory of the baby I lost to hypothyroidism.

October 21, 2012 - 5:21am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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