11 Hidden Signs You Might Have a Thyroid Problem

By , Healthy Eating Expert
An estimated 27 million Americans (including myself) are living with a thyroid condition. Fortunately, thyroid conditions are treatable; however, they can be tricky to diagnose since the symptoms tend to be subtle and can easily be mistaken for symptoms of other health issues. Here are some of the most common red flags to watch out for.

First things first: What is the thyroid?

The thyroid gland is one of several endocrine glands in the body. This butterfly-shaped gland is in the neck just below the larynx (voice box). Your thyroid gland makes hormones that help control the function of many of your body’s organs, including your heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin.

What is thyroid disease?

There are a variety of diseases and conditions that cause the thyroid to malfunction. Two of the most common thyroid conditions are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is underactive and unable to produce enough hormones to meet the body’s needs. This can occur because of a birth defect, surgical removal of the thyroid gland, an autoimmune disease, goiter or nodules.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive and produces more hormones than the body can use. The autoimmune condition known as Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Multiple nodules, thyroiditis and excessive iodine intake can also contribute to overproduction issues.

It is also possible to get cancer of the thyroid. Although thyroid cancer rates are on the rise, it still remains one of the most treatable types of cancer.

What are the symptoms of a thyroid condition?

Thyroid issues can be difficult to spot at first since many of the symptoms are also indicative of other health conditions. The symptoms of thyroid dysfunction can also vary in severity from person to person. If you have other medical conditions, symptoms associated with those conditions may be more severe due to underlying thyroid issues. The cause of thyroid disease, severity of thyroid hormone deficiency and the length of time the body has been deprived of the correct levels of hormones all affect symptom severity.

Here are some signs to look for that might indicate a thyroid condition:
  • Feeling run down, exhausted, drowsy and/or fatigued, even with proper rest
  • Feelings of depression or lack of interest in things previously enjoyed
  • Increased and/or heavier menstrual periods, PMS, fertility/miscarriage issues
  • Constipation, even with adequate fiber intake
  • Forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, difficulty learning or feeling like you are in a ''fog''
  • Unexplained weight gain beyond a few pounds, increased fluid retention and/or puffy face
  • Dry and/or itchy skin, even with regular moisturizer use.
  • Dry, brittle nails and hair (with or without  thinning)
  • Hoarse voice and/or difficulty swallowing
  • Intolerance to cold, especially in extremities such as fingers and toes
  • Muscle cramps
If you have been experiencing many of the above symptoms, speak with your doctor about screening your thyroid hormone levels to rule out a possible condition. Don't put off getting tested just because your symptoms seem like ''normal'' everyday ailments (fatigue, forgetfulness, etc.). With the proper care, it's completely possible to lift the fog and feel like yourself again.

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


RCLYKE 3/30/2021
Great info Report
PWILLOW1 2/1/2021
I have been treated for low thyroid for about 30 years. Thanks for the info. Report
DIVAGLOW 1/19/2021
This is great info, thanks! Report
1CRAZYDOG 9/19/2020
Important information. Thanks for sharing. Report
ROBINRS 9/2/2020
Good to know what to watch for. Report
CECELW 9/2/2020
I think i read this before Report
NEWCYN 9/2/2020
Thank you for bringing awareness to this issue. Report
NANHBH 9/2/2020
Good reference list. Report
AZMOMXTWO 9/2/2020
thank you Report
SNOOPYPAL2019 9/2/2020
I was diagnosed hypothyroid 10 years ago. One thing to consider if you are diagnosed with this disease. It's trial and error at first to get your dose of thyroid medications at the right level. The doctors tend to start you out at a low dose, and wait 6 weeks to see if your levels improve, then they'll increase if needed. It took almost 6 months to get my dosage right. Then, my doctor (at that time) decided to put me on Cytomel. It didn't seem to do anything, so she increased the dose - I started to get heart palpitations, which she didn't thing were an issue. But they became more frequent and lasted longer - I was scared. I made an appointment to see her, but saw her nurse practitioner instead. The NP told me I didn't need the Cytomel, and took me off it. The palpitations stopped in a day or 2 and I haven't had one in nearly 10 years. Needless to say, I no longer see that doctor, and my current doctor is much more on top of any symptoms. Report
JWINKSLLC 9/2/2020
I don't make any thyroid hormones. I have 4 tumors, thank goodness they are not cancer, on my thyroid. It's been an adventure. Report
JANBROS 9/2/2020
I discovered I have hyperthyroidism during my annual check up and routine blood work. I have many of these symptoms but could explain them with other causes. Ultrasound revealed a nodule, so waiting for my referral visit, biopsy and anticipate surgery. Will be curious to see what life is like once this is corrected.
Thanks for sharing the information! Report
NEPTUNE1939 9/2/2020
ty Report
RAPUNZEL53 9/2/2020
Great Report
Thanks! Report
LEANJEAN6 9/2/2020
I have a low thyroid and it does creep up on yu--- good article to get the thyroid tested Report
Great information. Report
Great information. Report
Great information. Report
EMGERBER 9/2/2020
Very interesting article! Report
Thanks Report
Thank you. Report
LIS193 9/2/2020
Great article Report
JANIEWWJD 9/2/2020
Very informative article!!! Thank you!!! Report
RYCGIRL 6/2/2020
thx Report
Get your ferritin checked too as a lot of the symptoms are similar! I’ve had hypothyroidism for over 20 years and when my ferritin gets lo I have horrible symptoms too. Report
interesting, maybe time to get tested. Report
my mother had thyroid trouble. She was also a heavy drinker, obese, and a smoker. She passed away at 44 years old. Report
Thanks Report
Interesting...thanks... Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
useful Report
Good to know info! Thanks! Report
Good to know. Thanks. Report
Thanks for the info Report
Super hard to lose weight with hypo/Hashimoto's; have found the groups on spark dedicated to discussion about these to be super-informative Report
Do you know how DIFFICULT it is to lose weight with hypothyroid??? Its terrible, and the fatigue and exhaustion are horrible! Report
I don't have any of these systems but mine be under active. Thanks for the info Report
Nice article Report
thanks Report
Thanks for the interesting article :) Report
I have been suffering from thyroid disorder for a few months and was under the treatment at KIMS (trivandrum.kimsglobal.com). As of now I am having a euthyroid. This blog helped me in diagnosing the condition that led me to the doctor for a complete checkup. Thanks for the info. Report
My low thyroid explains a lot about my depression and difficulty in concentrating, it's not just grief. Report
I do have a low thyroid---- Report
Thanks for the info Report
good info Report