My Happy Thyroid | Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism

Signs and Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

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.

causes of hypothyroidism

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.

Under Active Thyroid

When to Seek Medical Attention for Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

You should make an appointment with your primary healthcare provider if you’re feeling excessively tired for no reason, or if you have other hypothyroid symptoms such as constipation, dry skin or a puffy face.

If you’ve had previous thyroid surgery, or routinely take anti-thyroid medication, you’ll also need to see your doctor for periodic testing.

If you have high cholesterol, speak with your physician about whether hypothyroidism can be the cause. And if you’re undergoing hormone therapy for the treatment of hypothyroidism, follow up with your physician regularly.

The Causes of Hypothyroidism

When the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones, this can upset the chemical reactions in the body. There can be several causes, including radiation therapy, autoimmune disease, certain medications and thyroid surgery.

The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland that’s located at the base of the front of the neck. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland have a large impact on a person’s health and can significantly affect their metabolism.  This gland maintains the rate at which the body uses carbs and fats and helps to control the body temperature, helps with regulating the production of proteins and influences the heart rate.


Hypothyroidism will result when the thyroid gland isn’t able to produce enough hormones. This condition can be due to several factors including treatment for hyperthyroidism, autoimmune disease, thyroid surgery, radiation therapy, certain medications, congenital heart disease, pregnancy and iodine deficiency.

An autoimmune disease can occur when the immune system produces antibodies that attack tissues. This process can often involve the thyroid. Physicians are unsure as to why the body produces these antibodies. Some physicians think a bacteria or virus can trigger this type of response, while others firmly believe that it is due to a genetic flaw. Most likely, this type of condition is a result of more than one factor. Regardless of the cause, these antibodies will affect the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones.

A person who suffers from hyperthyroidism is often treated with anti-thyroid medication or radioactive iodine, in order to normalize and reduce the function of the thyroid. In some cases the treatment of an overactive thyroid can result in hypothyroidism.

The removal of all or a portion of the thyroid can halt or diminish hormone production. In this case, a person would be required to take thyroid hormones for life.

Radiation therapy is used to treat several different types of cancers and can affect the thyroid gland, which can result in hypothyroidism.

There are several types of medications that can contribute to hypothyroidism. Lithium is used to treat mental disorders. A person taking this medication should speak with their doctor about the effects Lithium can have on their thyroid.

Some infants are born with thyroid glands that are defective or they can be born with no thyroid gland at all. In many cases, the gland didn’t develop normally for unknown reasons. Typically an infant born with hypothyroidism will appear normal at the time of birth. Because of this most states now require newborn thyroid testing.

The Different Types of Thyroid Disorders and their Symptoms

A thyroid disorder is a disease that is associated with the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located inside the front part of the neck and it has a shape that is similar to the wings of a butterfly.

It is situated underneath the Adam’s apple and it is wrapped around the windpipe. The thyroid regulates metabolism in the different parts of the body. There are many kinds of thyroid disorders but most usually damage the thyroid gland or prevent it from functioning properly.

There is a thin layer of tissue in the middle of the thyroid gland called isthmus. The isthmus acts as a connecting tissue between the two thyroid parts that are located on each side of the neck. The thyroid produces essential hormones like thyroxine by using up iodine.

After thyroxine is produced, it will then flow into the bloodstream towards the different body tissues. After that, a small amount of thyroxine will be converted into an active hormone known as triiodothyronine.

The Hypothalamus and Pituitary gland

The thyroid gland functions normally because of a response mechanism which is connected to the brain. Whenever the level of thyroid hormone is low, a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus is responsible for secreting thyrotropin-releasing hormone.

The thyrotropin-releasing hormone will send a signal to another region of the brain called the pituitary gland, and the pituitary gland will release a hormone known as thyroid-stimulating hormone. The thyroid-stimulating hormone will then stimulate the thyroid gland to produce more thyroxine.

As can be understood from the statement above, the hypothalamus and pituitary gland are integral parts of the thyroid gland because they can control the release of thyroxine hormone.

Brain damage from the hypothalamus or pituitary gland can harm the normal function of the thyroid gland which causes thyroid disorders.
Generally, there are five kinds of thyroid disorders and these are:
• Hyperthyroidism
• Hypothyroidism
• Thyroid cancer
• Thyroid nodules
• Goiter

Thyroid disorder symptoms


Hyperthyroidism is caused by a high level of thyroid hormone called thyroxine. Usually, hyperthyroidism can increase your body’s metabolism which causes rapid heartbeat, weight loss, nervousness and sweating. But it is hard to diagnose the symptoms of hyperthyroidism because it has other symptoms that are similar to those of other health problems which include:
• Increased appetite
• Hand tremors
• Menstrual problems
• Sensitivity to heat
• Diarrhea
• Goiter
• Fatigue
• Insomnia
Treating hyperthyroidism involves using radioactive iodine and anti-thyroid medications to reduce the amount of thyroid hormones. There are instances where treating hyperthyroidism requires surgery to repair the thyroid gland.


Hypothyroidism is caused by the inability of the thyroid gland to produce enough hormones. Old people at the age of 60 are more prone to suffer from hypothyroidism. People who have hypothyroidism experience chemical imbalances.

There are only few symptoms of hypothyroidism in its early stage and it can cause several health issues if left untreated, such as joint pain, heart disease, obesity and infertility.
The first symptoms of hypothyroidism are weight gain and fatigue. But hypothyroidism will develop more symptoms as time goes by due to the body’s slow metabolism. The most common symptoms include:
• Constipation
• Weight gain
• High cholesterol level
• Sensitivity to cold
• Muscle pain
• Slow heartbeat
• Dry skin
• Memory loss
• Fatigue
• Depression
The treatment for patients with hypothyroidism is through the use of a synthetic thyroid hormone which is safe and effective.

Thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer is caused by abnormal cells in the thyroid gland. There are no symptoms of thyroid cancer in its early stage. But some symptoms may begin to show when the thyroid cancer grows and these include:
• Voice changes
• A lump on the neck
• Inflamed lymph nodes
• Difficulty swallowing
• Pain in the throat
The term “cancer” is associated with terminal diseases but thyroid cancer can be cured by using doctor prescribed treatments and medications.

Thyroid nodules

Thyroid nodules are caused by lumps inside the thyroid gland. These lumps are sometimes filled with fluid and there are usually no symptoms. Most thyroid nodules can only be detected during a medical check up. However, these thyroid nodules tend to grow and become visible after a long period of time.

There are thyroid nodules which can be malignant. Malignant or not, most nodules are large and they tend to grow more quickly. Most of the time, a malignant thyroid nodule is just a single large lump and people who are exposed to radiation have a higher chance of developing a malignant thyroid nodule.


Goiter is the abnormal growth of the thyroid gland. Most goiters are painless but there are large goiters which can cause a person to have difficulty in breathing or swallowing. The main cause of goiter is iodine deficiency. The thyroid gland needs iodine to produce thyroid hormones.

Iodine is usually found in iodized salt which is used to enhance the taste of foods. Generally, a goiter is caused by underproduction or overproduction of thyroid hormones. Goiter can also be caused by the development of nodules in the thyroid gland. The most common goiters have symptoms which include:
• Swelling of the neck
• Coughing
• Difficulty breathing or swallowing
The treatment for goiter varies according to size, but a small goiter doesn’t require any treatment.

Many people will dismiss the signs of hypothyroidism as

What is a common symptom for this condition?

The thyroid gland is located where?

Hypothyroidism will result when the thyroid gland

There are several types of medications that can contribute to hypothyroidism

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