Did you know that over 50 million people in the U.S. have an undiagnosed thyroid problem? What’s more, a thyroid that doesn’t function properly can cause a number of problems.
The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located near the bottom of your throat.
It produces several hormones. If your thyroid produces too many hormones you are said to be hyperthyroid, too few and you are hypothyroid.
Here are some clues that your thyroid might not be functioning properly. You will notice that some of these symptoms are often two sides of the same coin, one symptom representing hyperthyroid conditions and one representing hypothyroid conditions.
- You are having hair loss, or your hair is breaking and falling out
- Your skin has become dry and scaly, or thin and fragile
- You have lost hair at the outer edges of your eyebrow
- You have trouble wearing turtlenecks or neckties because your throat feels swollen
- You experience muscle and joint pain, or frequently have carpal tunnel syndrome
- You experience long-term constipation or frequent diarrhea
- You have either unusually heavy and painful periods, or unusually light and infrequent periods
- You are having fertility issues
- You have high cholesterol which does not respond to medication or dietary changes, or your cholesterol is unusually low
- You experience a sudden onset of panic attacks or episodes of anxiety
- You experience depression that does not respond to medication
- You have difficulty losing weight, or you have an unexplained weight loss
- You experience exhaustion and fatigue that does not resolve with what should be sufficient sleep
- You have trouble tolerating hot or cold conditions
- You have frequent headaches or migraines
- You have a lower than normal sex drive or a sudden decrease in your sex drive
You are at higher risk of having a thyroid condition if there is a history of thyroid problems in your family. In previous generations, thyroid problems were often referred to as goiters, or “gland problems.”
Fortunately, thyroid problems can usually be diagnosed with a simple blood test. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, talk with your doctor about testing.