These 8 Symptoms May Be Caused By a Thyroid Disease
Feeling tired? Can’t lose those extra pounds no matter what you do? It might be poor lifestyle choices – or it could be one of the most common diseases in the U.S.: hypothyroidism.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 4.6% of American adults are suffering from hypothyroidism. It’s estimated that millions more also have it without knowing.
Although weight gain is the most significant symptom of this condition, there are many other hidden signs you may experience. Staying informed on hypothyroidism can help you link the symptoms and acknowledge when you need help from a specialist.
Firstly, though, let’s have a brief look at how the thyroid gland is working and why it can affect our body in so many ways.
How the thyroid gland works
The thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck. It secretes hormones that control the most important functions in our body, from regulating the body temperature, digesting foods and consuming energy. This gland also helps the most important organs of the body to work properly, including the heart, brain, liver, skin and kidneys.
When hypothyroidism occurs, your body runs low on thyroxine hormone levels while getting too much thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH). When TSH levels are too high, it’s because the pituitary gland is trying to elevate hormone levels in a thyroid that no longer works properly.
There are many risk factors when it comes to hypothyroidism. Some people may be genetically predisposed to it, while others may have been secretly suffering from an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, named after the Japanese physician Hakaru Hashimoto (1881−1934) of the medical school at Kyushu University who first to recognize and described this autoimmune disorder. More than 80% of people diagnosed with hypothyroidism also suffer from this autoimmune condition which makes the immune system mistakenly attack the healthy thyroid.
Thankfully, though, specialists can check the thyroid gland through simple blood tests and most health issues can be controlled with medical treatment.
However, the first step to fixing a problem is knowing that you have one. With that in mind, let’s have a look at 9 of the most common signs of hypothyroidism.
You’re tired all the time
Blaming tiredness on a busy schedule is easy, but too much of it may signal a real health issue. Feeling tired and sleepy can be associated with many conditions, but they’re especially common in people with hypothyroidism.
When the thyroid hormone levels are low, it’s very difficult for your cells to get the signal that it’s time to get moving. This leads to that sluggish feeling you’ve been having.
Difficult as it may seem, doing exercise and staying active can actually help you to increase energy levels and counter the constant fatigue.
Muscle soreness is definitely normal after a workout, but if you’re experiencing it all the time for no apparent reason, it may be a problem. As I explained earlier on, the thyroid gland secrets hormones that help your body to break down foods and turn them into energy.
When the thyroid doesn’t work properly, your metabolism slows down, therefore your body gets less energy. This, in turn, affects the ability of your muscles to recover.
To ease this symptom, you can opt for low-impact exercises such as swimming or elliptical-stepping. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon are also very beneficial to help your body reduce inflammation and soreness.
Once again, we’re often blaming our lack of memory on a busy schedule, stress, insomnia or the aging process. While these things can indeed make you forget about daily tasks, a dysfunctional thyroid gland can also play its part.
Low thyroid hormone levels can also slow down neurological functions, which might also lead to a foggy memory.