The thyroid is something you hear a lot about in medical journals, TED talks, and maybe even in your doctor’s office. But what is the thyroid exactly? For as much as we hear about it, most people probably have no idea where the thyroid is in the body or what its function is.
So here we go!
The thyroid is the butterfly shaped gland at the base of the neck which controls your metabolic rate and protein synthesis — a.k.a. your ability to lose and gain weight.
See, the more you know.
This means that thyroid problems can inhibit your ability to lose or gain weight, among other troubling things. However, the sneaky thing about thyroid problems is that they don’t always reveal themselves in the most obvious ways. This can make them very difficult to identify and treat, which can allow a suspicious situation (like you trying to lose weight for months with no success) hard to find a solution to.
Luckily, there are a few signs to watch out for that are a much clearer than playing a guessing game with your thyroid! If you notice any of these 13 symptoms, take your concerns to your doctor immediately — you could be dealing with a thyroid disorder without even realizing it.
This hormone tells your body to get up and go, so if you’re not feeling awake after a good night’s sleep, your thyroid may be under-active.
That same lack of thyroid hormone can also have an impact on levels of “feel good” chemical, serotonin, in the brain. With an underactive thyroid turning other body systems down to “low,” it’s not surprising that your mood might sink there, too.
So if you’re feeling down for no apparent reason, your thyroid may be tricking your brain.
Not only can thyroid disease mess with your appetite, but it can mess with your sense of taste and smell.
Obviously, if your thyroid hormone is out of whack, your general hormones aren’t going to be quite the same. These imbalances can show themselves in many ways, such as more intense PMS, irregular periods, infertility, and low sex drive.
Noticing that your hands and feet are unusually cold or even blue? This could mean your circulation is poor. Now, a lot of things could cause this, thyroid disorder being one of them.
Typical “poor circulation” is categorized as constantly have cold hands and feet, feeling cold when others are not, or having a body temperature consistently below 98.5.
This mainly happens because of the role the thyroid plays in protein production. If proteins are being broken down and created correctly, protein dependent things like skin and nails tend to suffer.
People with hypothyroidism sometimes complain of constipation. This might seem unrelated, but the disruption in hormone production has likely caused a slowdown of digestive processes.
On the reverse side of the spectrum, an overactive thyroid gland can cause diarrhea or more frequent bowel movements, which is why they’re symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
Test yourself with basic brain games if you’re feeling your brain slow down inexplicably, and always take these issues to your doctor, as they could be more dangerous than merely thyroid issues.
One symptom that does make sense is a sensitivity in the neck; because the thyroid is in the base of the neck, common signs of this disorder are neck swelling, snoring, or hoarse voice.
Changes to Sleep Schedule
Most commonly, this over-stimulation can lead to insomnia, can almost entirely disrupt your good night’s sleep.
Thinning hair, particularly on your eyebrows, is a common sign of thyroid disease. An underactive or overactive thyroid throws off your hair growth cycle, just as dries out your skin and cracks your nails; if the proteins aren’t strong, your hair won’t be strong either.
Do any of these symptoms apply to you? Odds are, they could be unrelated to thyroid disorder. However, we strongly suggest going to see a doctor with any concerns you may have to combat any thyroid issues before they truly begin.