The thyroid is an extremely important gland in the human body, producing hormones which affect and regulate the behavior of several other bodily systems. If the thyroid starts under-producing those hormones – called hypothyroidism – this can cause symptoms across the entire body. Unfortunately, this can also make thyroid problems difficult to detect.
A qualified endocrinologist knows how to look past the overt symptoms, and understand when the thyroid is the underlying cause. These are some of the symptoms they look for when investigating hypothyroidism.
Six Key Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
1 – Fatigue / weakness
One of the biggest symptoms of thyroid problems is overall bodily fatigue. Basically, the entire body becomes depressed, and this can also include mental depression.
2 – Unexplained weight gain
As the patient’s metabolism slows down, they will likely start putting on weight, and for no clear reason. They may even gain weight despite reducing food intake, or -depending on how depressed they are- feel like they lack the ability to exercise.
3 – Frequent muscle aches or cramps
Compounding the weight gain is that the patient will likely be experiencing an increase in muscle pains and cramps. These will be more frequent and, usually, more intense than normal.
4 – Hair and nail problems
A patient with an under-performing thyroid may also have problems with their hair and nails. They’ll likely be extremely dry and brittle. In worse cases, they may begin experiencing hair loss, or see their nails actively crack. This is because the body lacks the resources needed to properly grow hair and nails.
5 – Constipation
As the other body processes slow down, so does the digestive process. This becomes a circular problem! Their digestive tract isn’t taking enough nutrition from their food, denying their body vital nutrients and calories. As a byproduct, the patient can become constipated – sometimes severely.
6 – Reproductive issues
Another area of the body which shows signs of overall slowdown is the reproductive system. In women, this often leads to irregular menstruation. Or, for both men and women, this can lead to reduced libido or an inability to maintain arousal during sexual activity.
If You Suspect Thyroid Problems, You Need an Endocrinologist
The symptoms described above are subtle and could easily be mistaken for being a part of another condition. But in order to eliminate these troubling symptoms a proper diagnosis is key.
Remember: only a trained professional can diagnose hypothyroidism or other thyroid issues. If you think you may have thyroid problems, contact Freeman Endocrinology to schedule an examination and consultation.