Monday 12 February 2018

10 Signs That You Need Your Thyroid Checked

If you have a headache, you take medicine. If you’re tired, you take a nap. Sometimes your body just needs you to slow down. It’s easy to say you’ll make an appointment with your doctor if something doesn’t feel right. Will you actually follow through, though? Subtle things like fatigue, digestive problems, and weight gain might not seem urgent; however, these could be just a few of many signs you need your thyroid checked.
Both hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, and hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid, can have severe health consequences if left untreated. Here’s everything you might experience if your thyroid is going rogue.

1. You have major brain fog 

Forgetfulness and an inability to concentrate are fully acceptable before you’ve had your morning cup of coffee. After that, you’ve probably started searching for reasons why your brain feels foggy no matter the time of day. Problems with your thyroid, hypothyroidism in particular, could lead to issues with memory and concentration, says Everyday Health. If you can’t think straight, your thyroid might be to blame. Treatment for a thyroid disorder can leave you with a clearer head and a much more productive schedule.

2. You’re more exhausted than usual 

Stress, chronic fatigue, and many mental health conditions can leave you feeling worn out and ready for a nap the second your alarm goes off. Exhaustion beyond what a simple cup of coffee can fix could also signal a problem with your thyroid. According to Verywell, you could experience fatigue both with an overactive or underactive thyroid even if you regularly get a good night’s sleep. If you’re on a normal sleep schedule, and there’s no sign of irregular sleep disturbances, have a medical professional check your thyroid to see if it’s playing a role in your constant need for a long, hard nap.

3. You have dry skin 

So you’re going through bottles of lotion faster than you can buy them, yet your skin can’t seem to hold in the moisture. Though it might surprise you, your thyroid is in control of a lot of processes in your body, including the health of your skin. Dermato-Endocrinology notes that rough, dry skin could mean your thyroid is sluggish. If no amount of moisturizer can keep your skin looking and feeling smooth and healthy, check to see if you have an underactive thyroid gland.

4. You’re a little hoarse 

Losing your voice is to be expected after cheering on your favorite sports team for hours, but persistent issues with your throat could be cause for concern. According to EndocrineWeb, your thyroid may be kicking itself into high gear, which can cause inflammation and swelling in and around your throat. Make sure to see your doctor for a proper examination and diagnosis, as inflammation in your throat could also be a sign of other health issues.

5. You’re at war with your digestive system 

Tummy troubles, if you don’t usually have them, could actually point to a problem with your thyroid. Thyroid issues can affect your digestion in two different ways, says Health, depending on whether you have an underactive or overactive gland. Frequent constipation is a common result of an underactive thyroid, since things can’t seem to move through your system fast enough. An overactive thyroid, however, can lead to more frequent bowel movements, because things move through your digestive system too quickly. Don’t hesitate to discuss your bowels with your doctor — they’re a better means of measuring your overall health than you might think.

6. You’re always cold 

Wearing sweaters in 80-degree weather could just mean the air conditioning at your office is out of control. But if you’re constantly shivering wherever you go, your body could be trying to tell you something. An inability to regulate your body temperature, according to Healthline, could be a sign of hypothyroidism. Your thyroid gland is responsible for producing metabolism-regulating hormones. Have your doctor check you over to determine whether your constant chills are a sign of an underactive thryoid — or something else.

7. Your joints are swollen or stiff 

Have you noticed your joints are a lot more stiff than they used to be? You could just be getting older — but you could also have an underactive thyroid. According to Mayo Clinic, hypothyroidism can cause joint pain, stiffness, and swelling with symptoms similar to arthritis. If your shoulder or hips are sore, or if you notice swelling in your hands or feet, it might be a good idea to get your thyroid checked just in case. Your doctor can offer both pain relief in the short term and treatment for the thyroid problem causing the pain, which will help in the long term.

8. You’re having fertility issues 

If you’re having a hard time getting or staying pregnant, you could have an underlying thyroid disorder. Women to Women notes thyroid problems can lead to infertility. Sudden changes in your menstrual cycle could prevent pregnancy and hormone changes after conceiving could cause a miscarriage. Men can also experience fertility issues as a result of thyroid problems, according to research. Hypothyroidism can cause a drop in testosterone, which may impact your ability to conceive.

9. Your heart rate won’t slow down 

It’s normal for your heart to beat faster after exercising, or when it’s your turn to speak in a meeting. However, a racing heart even when you’re resting could be a subtle sign that your thyroid isn’t working the way it’s supposed to. According to Harvard Health Publications, an elevated heart rate is a common side effect of an overactive thyroid. Your heart might race without noticeable cause, whether you’re exerting yourself or not. If you notice you have a higher than normal pulse, a trip to the doctor’s office might confirm you have hyperthyroidism.

10. You’ve gained (or lost) weight 

Have you gained or lost weight without changing a thing? Either your scale is lying to you, or there’s something more serious going on. According to the American Thyroid Association, in cases of hypothyroidism, weight gain is common — and most of it happens because of an accumulation of salt and water, not just fat. People with overactive thyroid glands, on the other hand, may experience unexpected weight loss. If you’re experiencing sudden weight changes in addition to other symptoms listed above, it wouldn’t hurt to get your thyroid checked just in case.

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