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Thyroid Symptoms to Look Out For

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The thyroid gland is an important part of the human body. An organ of the endocrine system, the thyroid gland produces the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).

When the amount of thyroid hormones produced becomes disrupted, such as with overproduction (hyperthyroidism) or underproduction (hypothyroidism), the change in hormone level results in different symptoms.

Appetite and Weight Changes

Thyroid symptoms may include changes to the patient’s appetite and weight. With hyperthyroidism, patients may have an increased appetite.

Weight loss is another possible symptom, though MedlinePlus noted that in rare cases, patients with hyperthyroidism may gain weight. With hypothyroidism, patients may have unintentional weight gain.

Sensation Changes

Altered thyroid hormone levels may cause sensation changes. For example, patients with hypothyroidism may become more sensitive to the cold. As the disease progresses without treatment, patients may have decreased senses of smell and taste.

For patients with hyperthyroidism, they may experience heat intolerance, in which they become very uncomfortable when it becomes warmer. Patients may also have increased sweating.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms

Higher or lower levels of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine may result in gastrointestinal symptoms. Patients with hyperthyroidism may have frequent bowel movements and diarrhea. Constipation is an early symptom of hypothyroidism.

Skin, Hair and Facial Changes

Thyroid symptoms may include changes to the patient’s physical appearance. In hypothyroidism, patients may have thin and brittle fingernails or hair. Their skin may appear pale or become dry.

Later symptoms of hypothyroidism include a thinning of the eyebrows, thickening of the skin, and puffiness of the feet, face and hands. Patients with hyperthyroidism may have clammy skin, protruding eyes, skin flushing and hair loss.

Motor and Muscular Symptoms

Patients with thyroid disease may experience symptoms that affect their muscles or motor function. For example, patients with hyperthyroidism may have hand tremors and weakness. With hypothyroidism, symptoms may include joint or muscle pain and weakness.

Gender-Specific Symptoms

Some of the thyroid symptoms are gender-specific. For example, a woman with hypothyroidism may have heavier menstrual periods than normal.

Irregular menstrual periods and a lack of menstrual periods are possible symptoms with hyperthyroidism. Men with hyperthyroidism may develop breasts.

Cognitive and Emotional Symptoms

Changes to thyroid hormone levels may affect patients’ cognitive and emotional functioning. With hyperthyroidism, possible symptoms include difficulty concentrating, nervousness and restlessness. Depression is a possible symptoms with hypothyroidism.

Other Thyroid Symptoms

Other symptoms are possible with altered thyroid hormone levels. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism may cause fatigue in patients.

Hyperthyroidism may cause a goiter or thyroid nodules. Hoarseness and slow speech are possible late symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Other symptoms of hyperthyroidism include high blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, heart palpitations, irregular pulse, overall itching, and nausea and vomiting.


MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Hyperthyroidism. Web. 27 January 2012

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Hypothyroidism. Web. 27 January 2012

Reviewed January 27, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment1 Comments

Their are many symptoms that are related to thyroid such as the following:
Hair Loss (alopecia)
dry skin
hoarse voice
brittle, cracking nails
facial acne
intolerant to cold weather
fibrocystic breasts
pale skin
dark circles around the eyes
lack of energy
and more...........

If you have any of these symptoms it is a good idea to see a endocrinologist to test your thyroid levels such as FSH, T3 and T4 through blood test. If blood test is normal it is best to talk to the doctor about doing Iodine loading test. This test is done only through urine and from here you would know how deficient you're in iodine. Thyroid and iodine together are very important. If thyroid has no hormone meaning if your Iodine level is low means your thyroid is not producing hormone. The body needs to have enough iodine to make the thyroid working properly.

Good Luck,

January 28, 2012 - 11:05pm
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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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