Signs of underactive thyroid gland

The thyroid gland is located at the front of your neck, directly under your voice box, and it produces hormones (such as thyroxine) that regulate metabolic function. In other words, your thyroid plays a key role in determining the speed at which your cells work. When the gland is underactive and no longer able to produce sufficient amounts of thyroxine, the resulting physical changes can dramatically influence your well-being. This condition is called hypothyroidism, and some of the most common causes include viruses, drugs and autoimmune conditions.

Here are nine major warning signs that you may have an underactive thyroid gland.

1. Unexplained Weight Gain

If you keep frowning when you step onto the scales but the climbing numbers can’t be explained by an unhealthy diet or a newly sedentary lifestyle, an underlying condition like hypothyroidism could be the culprit. You should be especially concerned if you seem to have gained a lot of weight over just a few weeks or months.

Must Read: 7 Major Changes We Must Make In Our Diet To Shed Weight

In some cases, the weight gain associate with an underactive thyroid is primarily caused by water retention, so your stomach may feel squidgy, your face may look fuller and you might notice swollen ankles after walking.

2. Aches and Pains

If you have complained of joint or muscle pain and yet doctors have reassured you that you don’t have arthritis, ask if your thyroid function can be investigated. Sufferers of hypothyroidism often complain of sharp migrating pains that crop up without any associated strain or injury, while others describe deep aches that are felt from head to toe.

3. Exhaustion

An underactive thyroid may be to blame if you constantly feel lethargic even when you’ve had a good night’s sleep. This tiredness will be particularly noticeable after a busy day, but it tends to be present even when you’re relaxing.

You may even find that you accidentally fall asleep when you sit down to read, work or watch TV. Meanwhile, physical strength is typically reduced by a lack of thyroxine, so keep an eye on how your body feels when you try to carry your groceries or lift weights at the gym.

4. Constipation

Constipation is often caused by inadequate fluid consumption or overuse of certain medications (like opiate painkillers), but if the cause of your sluggish bowel movements is mysterious then a thyroid function test is warranted. Whatever the reason for constipation, it’s vital to regain better intestinal function if you want to avoid hemorrhoids or chronic rectal pain.

5. Extreme Sensitivity To Low Temperatures

Hypothyroidism signs and symptoms

If you’re in agony every time you have to get something from the freezer or step outside in cold weather, you might be experiencing Raynaud’s phenomenon. Check to see whether your hands and feet turn white in low temperatures, and note whether they’re red and painful when they warm up again. While Raynaud’s can exist in isolation or be caused by many different illnesses, hypothyroidism is a fairly common explanation.

6. Skin Changes

An underactive thyroid gland can sometimes lead to paler skin tone, so if you realize you’ve taken on a ghostly hue then be sure to mention it to your doctor (who will probably want to check your iron levels as well). Hypothyroidism can also cause dry, flaking skin. If you’ve recently started needing an industrial strength moisturizer, a lack of thyroxine could be responsible.

7. Psychological Changes

People with a poorly functioning thyroid gland often feel melancholy or flat. If you’re feeling down at the same time as you’re experiencing other symptoms on this list, it is well worth having your thyroid function checked before assuming that you’re experiencing a mental health problem in isolation. Along with sadness or apathy, some people also find that hypothyroidism causes impaired cognitive function, reducing memory, concentration and problem solving skills.

8. Reproductive Abnormalities

Female sufferers of hypothyroidism often first seek help because they’re struggling to cope with changes in their monthly periods. In particular, the menstrual flow may become much heavier, bringing increased exhaustion along with it.

While some women just tend to have heavy periods, you should bring them to a doctor’s attention if you used to have light or moderate bleeds. In addition to hypothyroidism, you’ll be screened for endocrine disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Meanwhile, both males and females with underactive thyroid glands regularly complain that a reduced sex drive is causing problems in their romantic relationships.

9. Brittle Hair and Nails

Finally, if your hair is looking dry and you’re constantly battling with split ends in spite of taking good care of your locks, add this change to your list of potential signs of hypothyroidism. It’s also worth noting that some patients complain of easily damaged nails that constantly break and look brittle.

Of course, the above symptoms can also be explained by a host of other health problems. However, it’s smart to ask your ENT Specialist in Bangalore for a simple blood test to check for hypothyroidism. If you do turn out to have an underactive thyroid, the good news is that your condition can be effectively managed with daily medication.







  1. I don’t have a thyroid problem but it’s quite weird that I match with almost more than half of the symptoms!

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