What Are The Symptoms of a Thyroid Problem?
Since almost every function and type of tissue in your body needs thyroid hormone to function properly the list of possible symptoms from a thyroid problem is quite long. However, there are a handful of classic hypothyroid (not enough thyroid hormone) and hyperthyroid (too much thyroid hormone) symptoms such that if you find yourself experiencing 2 or 3 of these symptoms for a couple months in a row you should request labs from your doctor.
As with most health problems, it’s much easier to manage and resolve a recently developed thyroid condition than it is to treat a condition that’s been untreated for years. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that about 20 million Americans will develop a thyroid condition at some point during their life and about 60% of those people are unaware their health problems are related to their thyroid. The bottom line is this: get a full thyroid panel on your labs if you even suspect a problem (scroll to the bottom for the full set of thyroid labs).
When your thyroid gland isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone (or if the thyroid hormone being produced isn’t finding a way into your cells…) you will typically experience some of the following symptoms:
|You feel cold and might not sweat||Your hair falls out and eyebrows are thin|
|You become constipated||Your skin becomes very dry|
|You gain weight or cannot lose weight||You have other hormone irregularities|
|You develop brain fog and memory problems||You have fertility problems|
|You feel listless and unmotivated||Your neck appears swollen|
|You struggle with fatigue||You just feel lousy and not like yourself|
|You sleep more than usual||You have slow heartbeat|
|You feel depressed and get mood swings||Your cholesterol levels increase|
On the other side of the coin, if your thyroid gland is producing too much thyroid hormone you will typically experience some of the following symptoms:
|You often feel warm and sweat more||You lose weight without trying|
|You feel anxious or wired||You experience muscle weakness|
|You struggle with insomnia||Your eyes seem to bulge out of their sockets|
|You might have panic attacks||You have irregular menstrual cycles|
|Your heart races and you get palpitations||Your skin on your shins gets thicker|
|You have loose stool and diarrhea||Your hair may be falling out|
|You get tremors||You may get chronic hives (urticaria)|
As you can clearly see the list of thyroid related symptoms is long and that’s because almost every function and type of tissue in your body needs thyroid hormone to function properly. But there’s even one more list you should be aware of when it comes to thyroid problems – the other disorders that may be related to poor thyroid function.
The following disorders may be related to a thyroid problem and if you’ve already been diagnosed with any of them you should request a full thyroid panel as you may find the answers you’ve been looking for.
|Anxiety||Irritable Bowel Syndrome|
|Chronic constipation||Learning disability|
|Diabetes||Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)|
Unfortunately, when it comes to blood labs for thyroid problems most mainstream medical offices will only order TSH and maybe T4. It is very possible to have “normal” levels of TSH or T4 and still have a thyroid problem.
In order to have the best chance at recognized all types of thyroid problems the following labs would be much more helpful;
|T4 (total)||Reverse T3|
|T4 (free)||TPO, Ab|
|T3 (total)||Thyroglobulin, Ab|