What Are The Symptoms Of an Underactive Thyroid
The thyroid gland is responsible for hormone regulation on a cellular level. This one small gland is what stimulates cell and tissue production in the body. Many people do not realize how important this gland is. The initial symptoms that signal an irregularity are so slight they are often ignored by patients.
There are two types of thyroid conditions:
- Underactive thyroid-hypothyroidism
- Overactive thyroid-hyperthyroidism
This article will focus on the symptoms of underactive thyroid.
When “not feeling like yourself” might be something more
The initial symptoms of underactive thyroid are sluggishness and increased fatigue. Given the business of the average American life; the symptoms are often ignored or excused rather than paid attention to. As a result, most cases of hypothyroidism go undiagnosed until a later stage.
What does that later stage look like? It involves loss of temperature control in the body, lack of appetite, increased sleepiness during daylight hours, and difficulty moving. The hormone levels need to be brought within a normal range before the cellular production in the body is adversely affected.
Women of childbearing age may start to notice changes to their complexion, dry and brittle hair, and an irregular menstrual cycle; while women of pre-menopausal age begin to notice an increase in the severity of their menstrual cycle. If these imbalances continue unchecked, the results could be catastrophic.
Low Levels, High Alert
As the hormone levels within the gland and within your body dip dangerously low, it will start to affect your mental capacity. People with drastically low levels of thyroid hormones suffer mental confusion, concentration problems, restricted eating habits, and life-threatening body temperature changes. At this stage, the body can go into a coma to protect itself from organ failure.
The problem is usually located within the gland itself, but on rare occasions the problem can originate in the brain. The pituitary gland is what controls the functions of the thyroid. A malfunction in the pituitary gland can trigger a systemic malfunction within your thyroid.
By the late stages, the symptoms actually become visible. Patients usually develop a goiter because the thyroid gland begins to swell. This can cause difficulty swallowing and changes to the voice.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or thyroid conditions run in your family, you need to see a specialist to find out if the root cause of the problems is in the gland itself. Do not wait until the symptoms put you in an emergency situation symptoms of an underactive thyroid need to be handled sooner rather than later.
Discuss your symptoms with your general practitioner first and get a referral to a specialist so that the condition can be brought under control without further risk.