The symptoms of hypothyroidism will vary and depend on how severe the hormone deficiency is in the individual. Generally speaking, any warning sign of hypothyroidism will tend to develop slowly, usually over several years. Initially, you may hardly notice these symptoms, such as weight gain and increased fatigue, or you may simply dismiss these expressions of hypothyroidism as signs of aging.
Common Hypothyroidism Symptoms
Some of the common symptoms include dry skin, fatigue, and puffy face, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, unexplained weight gain, muscle weakness, hoarseness, swollen joints, heavy menstrual periods, muscle aches, elevated cholesterol, impaired memory, and depression, thinning hair and slowed heart rate.
When left untreated, the symptoms of hypothyroidism can become more severe, gradually. Constant stimulation of the thyroid gland results in an increase of hormones that are released. This can result in an enlarged thyroid. Additionally, a person can become more forgetful as their thought process slows or they may feel depressed.
Myxedema, also referred to as advanced hypothyroidism, is rare, but can be life threatening. The symptoms for Myxedema include decreased breathing, coma and low blood pressure. With extreme cases of Myexdema, the condition can be fatal.
While hypothyroidism tends to affect older and middle aged people, anyone can develop the condition, even children and infants. Infants born with a poorly functioning thyroid gland will have few symptoms, such as: frequent choking, enlarged tongue, jaundice and puffy face. As the condition progresses, they will have trouble eating and will fail to develop and grow normally. They may also experience excessive sleepiness, constipation and poor muscle tone. If left untreated in infants, hypothyroidism can lead to mental retardation.
Generally, teens and children who develop hypothyroidism will have the same manifestations as adults, but they can also experience delayed puberty, poor growth, poor mental development and the delayed development of permanent teeth.
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