Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Endocrine Disorders, Featured Article, Thyroid Problems
on January 26, 2012

That worn-out and lethargic feeling might not be a normal sign of stress or aging. Check with your doctor if you have symptoms of hypothyroidism. This condition can develop in anyone at any time, and the symptoms run the gamut.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism. This condition has a wide range of symptoms that can be mild and unnoticeable to severe and debilitating. Untreated hypothyroidism may lead to more dangerous conditions. Fatigue and sluggishness are the most prevalent first symptoms. These signs of hypothyroidism are often overlooked as something to be expected for someone under stress. Feeling tired and sluggish also is often attributed to normal body changes that occur during the aging process. Don’t let a potential health condition go untreated. If you have any or all of the symptoms, get to your doctor and start on a treatment plan. There is no need to feel fatigued and droopy at any age.

Additional signs. In addition to fatigue and sluggishness, other symptoms can include:

  • Pale skin
  • Dry skin
  • A puffy face
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Elevated blood cholesterol
  • Muscle tenderness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Heavy menstruation
  • Brittle fingernails and hair

Symptoms of advanced, untreated hypothyroidism. If you aren’t getting care for hypothyroidism, it can continue to get worse and lead to additional problems. Be aware of these potentially dangerous symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Goiter — The repeated and futile attempts by your body to stimulate thyroid hormones from your thyroid gland may lead to a goiter, also known as enlarged thyroid.
  • Absentmindedness — Lack of sufficient thyroid hormone can cause forgetfulness, scatterbrained feelings and imprecise, vague thinking. It is important to take note that these symptoms are often attributed to other diseases characteristic to older people.
  • Myxedema — Advanced hypothyroidism is called myxedema. The condition is not common, but it is very dangerous — even life threatening. Symptoms include low blood pressure, diminished breathing, low body temperature, unresponsiveness, coma and death.