Most of the time, when we feel something strange in our body, we simply let it pass. “It’s just a cold, allergy … or we’re getting older,” we usually say. Sometimes it’s true. But it happens much more often than we think that these “innocent bumps” can indicate much greater medical problems.
That is why it is so important to pay attention to the messages that our body sends us, like when we experience problems with the thyroid.
Although it is only a small gland that we have in our throat, the thyroid is responsible for producing the thyroid hormone (TH), which is in charge of regulating our metabolism, temperature and heart rate.
If the thyroid gland begins to function in an irregular way, it can begin to produce more hormones, or on the contrary produce smaller amount than required by our body.
The thyroid gland is located in the front of your neck and has a butterfly shape, and it is hard to believe that something so small can have so much importance in our body.
If the thyroid becomes too active, it will produce more thyroid hormones, developing hyperthyroidism.
- Symptom # 1: You feel sad or depressed.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a more or less active thyroid, can completely alter your mood. Few thyroid hormones can affect levels of the “happiness hormone,” serotonin, causing you to feel some depression. On the other hand, too many hormones can make you feel anxious or stressed.
- Symptom # 2: Constipation or diarrhea.
If you suffer from constipation or diarrhea, it is usually a malfunction of the production of thyroid hormone that generates a slowing of digestion. It is usually one of the three most common symptoms of hypothyroidism, says Specialist Doctor Robin Miller.
- Symptom # 3: Too much sleep.
We all have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, but when it becomes really insufferable, it could be because the thyroid is making your body run at a turtle’s pace, making you feel drowsy even during the day.
- Symptom # 4: Loss of hair and dry skin.
Do you have dry skin? It can be a symptom of hypothyroidism, which causes a slower metabolism, which reduces sweating. Your nails and hair can dry out and become brittle. Even the hair can begin to fall. The reason? A lack of thyroid hormone interrupts the hair growth cycle, resulting in hair loss.
“Many patients come to me telling me that their hairdressers told them to go to the doctor,” says Dr. Miller. Many hairdressers are more aware of thyroid problems than some doctors. ”
- Symptom # 5: Sudden weight gain.
Although weight gain can be caused by many factors, a sudden weight gain without changes in diet or physical exercise could be a cause for concern. In fact, this is one of the main reasons for visiting the doctor. If you do exercise but you are not able to lose weight, it is usually caused by a poor thyroid.
- Symptom # 6: Loss of sexual appetite.
Low levels of thyroid hormone are equivalent to having low libido. However, experiencing the other symptoms – weight gain, headaches, hair loss – could also contribute to the loss of sexual desire.
- Symptom # 7: Muscle pain.
If we hit a toe, it usually hurts. If we start exercising, then we will have stiffness in the next few days. Those pains are normal. But if you begin to feel hardening or numbness in the arms, legs, hands or feet, keep in mind that the thyroid could be the culprit.
A lack of thyroid hormone can damage the nerves that send signals from the brain to the rest of the body. “The result is unexplained tingling and pricking,” says Dr. Miller.
- Symptom # 8: Agitated heart.
When we fall in love with someone, we can feel that tapping in our heart so characteristic. However, flutter caused by thyroid problems is very different. Much more pronounced. You feel as if your heart begins to beat hard, you can even feel the beating in the neck and the wrists.
If it looks like something you are experiencing, it can be heart palpitations, produced by an excess of thyroid hormones in your system.
- Symptom # 9: Clouded mind.
Your brain may become a bit clumsy with age, but if this feeling suddenly intensifies, it could be the thyroid. Too much thyroid hormone can hinder concentration, while lack of it can lead to forgetting things frequently.
- Symptom # 10: High blood pressure.
If you have a high blood pressure and nothing seems to solve this problem, such as a healthy diet or more exercise, you should check your thyroid. A poorly active thyroid can cause high levels of “bad” cholesterol, which can even lead to heart attack.
- Symptom # 11: Increased appetite or change of taste.
Do things suddenly taste different to you? Hypothyroidism can cause a mess in your senses of taste and smell. However, if you can not stop eating, it may be hyperthyroidism.
If this is the case, no matter how much you eat, you may not gain any weight because you will try to balance the calories. Although this may seem like any woman’s dream, it is a definite cause to visit your doctor.
- Symptom # 12: Discomfort in the neck or throat.
The thyroid is in the neck, so the physical pain in this place makes perfect sense. A lump in the throat, a change in voice could be signs of a thyroid disorder. If you feel any of these things, look at your neck in front of the mirror and see if you see any swelling.
“Hold a mirror in your hand, and look at the front of your neck, over the collar bones, in the area where the thyroid is. As you focus on that area in front of the mirror tilt your head back. Have a glass of water and swallow. Look at your neck while you’re down. Check if you have any bumps in this area.
If you see any, you should visit the doctor. You could have swollen gland or some nodule that should be checked.