6 Signs You Have a Thyroid Issue

Approximately 59 million people in the US suffer from a thyroid problem, but most people don’t even know it.  The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, which when not working right can cause a wide array of health issues such as weight gain, depression, sexual dysfunction, depression, heart disease, and extreme fatigue. Let’s look at 6 signs of a thyroid issue that might come as a surprise:

1. Fatigue

Feeling exhausted when you wake up, or that full night’s sleep is not enough, leaving you unable to function throughout the day, can all be signs of thyroid problems. Fatigue symptoms usually start off mild and increase over time.

2. Weight Changes

Being unable to lose weight no matter what you do, could mean you have hypothyroidism. An underactive thyroid gland could be slowing down your metabolism to the point where it is not working.

With an overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, the opposite is true.  Your metabolism is pushed to overdrive and people have trouble gaining weight no matter what they do.  You may also experience dramatic and unexplained weight loss.

3. Muscle & Joint Pain

Unexplained aches and pains in the muscles and joints can be symptomatic of a thyroid condition. These pains can be intense and interfere with normal activities, getting in the way of living a normal life.

4. Swollen Neck

Swelling in the neck or a visibly enlarged thyroid can indicate thyroid disease. This condition is known as a “neck goiter,” and it typically presents as a localized swelling at the base of the neck.  This type of swelling does not necessarily mean a thyroid problem, but does point to an underlying condition that could be affecting the size of the thyroid.  

5. Hair & Skin Changes

The hair and skin often show the first signs of thyroid problems.  Many people don’t know this but the thyroid regulates delivery of hormones which play important roles in the maintenance of healthy skin. When the thyroid is underactive or overactive, these hormones aren’t delivered in the proper quantities.  This results in symptoms like dry hair, loss of hair, scaly skin, or excessively dry skin.

6. Bowel Disorders

Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause changes in bowel habits, because they interfere with the body’s ability to digest food. Depending on which you have, you might experience difficulties in passing bowel movements, chronic constipation or more frequent and more urgent bowel movements.