A thyroid condition develops when the thyroid glands, located in the front portion of the neck, do not function properly. The thyroid gland is responsible for producing thyroid hormones that play a crucial role in controlling metabolism.
There are mainly 2 diseases associated with the thyroid gland; hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. When the thyroid gland is overactive and produces large amounts of thyroid hormones, then the condition is termed as hyperthyroidism. A thyroid disorder in which an underactive thyroid gland releases low levels of thyroid hormones that do not meet the body needs, is called hypothyroidism.
People who have thyroid problems face difficulty in swallowing food. The most common symptoms of thyroid problems are cold feet and hands, high or low blood pressure, weakness, loss of energy and sex drive. People with weight problems are more likely to have a thyroid condition. Other symptoms are given below:
People suffering from thyroid problems often experience hair loss. The skin and hair are usually affected in this condition. Patients with hypothyroidism have coarse and brittle hair that break off easily. Loss of hair is also observed in the outer edge of the eyebrows. Severe hair loss, where the skin turns thin and fragile, is seen in hyperthyroidism. The condition can also cause the skin to become dry and coarse. In some cases, the skin is thick and scaly.
Swelling in the Neck
A thyroid condition can cause discomfort in the neck. An enlarged thyroid is considered to be the symptom of thyroid disease. Enlargement of the thyroid gland affects the voice considerably. As a result, the voice may become hoarse.
Issues with Bowel Movement
Bowel dysfunction is likely to occur, which is often accompanied by abdominal pain. Constipation for long periods is a symptom of hypothyroidism. People having hyperthyroidism may develop irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or diarrhea.
Joint and Muscle Aches
Muscle and joint pain associated with this medical condition causes weakness in the arms. General muscle pain that leads to stiffness and cramps is also observed. People having a thyroid condition find it difficult to climb stairs and hold objects firmly with their hands. Tendonitis may occur in the arms or legs. Some people experience a tingling sensation in the bottom or arch of their feet similar to the carpal tunnel syndrome.
Fatigue and Weakness
People suffering from this condition feel exhausted even after sleeping for 8 to 10 hours. Sleeping for long periods does not help to lessen fatigue. The person sleeps more than usual and simply cannot work properly throughout the day without a nap. Some patients are unable to sleep at night (nighttime insomnia). As a result, the person cannot concentrate on the work during the day. In some cases, the person finds it very difficult to get up from the bed in the morning due to extreme fatigue. This is a noticeable symptom of abnormal thyroid levels.
Change in Weight
People with thyroid problems fail to gain or lose weight in spite of following a particular diet and an exercise program. People with hyperthyroidism experience weight loss despite having proper meals. On the other hand, difficulty losing weight is a common symptom of hypothyroidism.
Depression accompanied by anxiety and panic disorders can be a symptom of thyroid problem. Panic attacks are usually an indication of hyperthyroidism. Depression caused due to a thyroid condition, unfortunately does not respond to medicines (antidepressants).
Abnormal Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol issues that do not get cured by taking medicines or having a proper diet are a sign of thyroid condition. High cholesterol levels, that are unresponsive to cholesterol lowering medications are associated with hypothyroidism. Unusually low cholesterol is a symptom of undiagnosed hyperthyroidism.
Changes in Menstrual Periods
Menstrual irregularities can be a warning sign of thyroid condition. Infrequent or lighter menstruation has been linked with hyperthyroidism.
There are certain medications such as beta-blockers, radioactive iodine, L-thyroxine, and L-triiodothyronine, which are prescribed to treat thyroid problems. Surgery for hyperthyroidism involves removing a large part of thyroid tissue to curb production of thyroid hormones. In most cases, surgical procedures are not required and medications available in liquid or capsule form, help get rid of thyroid problems.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.