There are a number of early warning signs of thyroid problems, which can be broadly divided into two categories: those related to the function of the thyroid gland itself, and those related to the hormones produced by the gland.
Thyroid gland function can be assessed indirectly by measuring levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood. High TSH levels indicate that the gland is not producing enough hormone, while low levels suggest that it is overactive. Other indirect indicators of thyroid function include changes in heart rate and body temperature.
The main hormones produced by the thyroid gland are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones play an essential role in regulating metabolism, and their levels can be measured directly in blood tests. Low levels of T4 and/or T3 may indicate hypothyroidism, while high levels may suggest hyperthyroidism.
In addition to these general indicators, there are also a number of specific symptoms that can be associated with thyroid problems. These include fatigue, weight gain or loss, hair loss, dry skin, cold intolerance, muscle weakness, joint pain, irregular menstrual cycles or infertility in women. If you experience any of these symptoms on a regular basis, it is important to see your doctor for further testing.
In general, fatigue is defined as a feeling of tiredness or exhaustion that is not relieved by rest. It can be acute, lasting for just a short period of time, or chronic, lasting for weeks or even months at a time. People with thyroid problems often describe their fatigue as being “out of proportion” to the amount of activity they’ve undertaken recently. In other words, they may feel exhausted after doing very little physical activity.
There are many potential causes of fatigue in people with thyroid problems. One possibility is anemia, which occurs when there are insufficient levels of red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues; without enough oxygenated blood cells circulating throughout the body, people may feel fatigued and weak. Another potential cause of fatigue is sleep disturbance; people with thyroid conditions often have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep through the night due to anxiety or insomnia. Additionally, some research suggests that changes in hormone levels associated with thyroid conditions can disrupt normal sleep patterns and contribute to fatigue during the day. Finally, many people with thyroid problems experience depression; feelings of sadness and hopelessness can lead to decreased energy levels and motivation, resulting in fatigue.
The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck and produces hormones that regulate metabolism. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can cause weight gain, fatigue, constipation, and depression. A person with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) may experience weight loss, anxiety, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. If you have any concerns about your thyroid function, please consult with your healthcare provider.
The early warning signs of thyroid problems can vary depending on the individual, but there are some common signs and symptoms to be aware of. Weight loss is often one of the first noticeable changes in someone with a thyroid problem. This can happen for a number of reasons, including an increase in metabolism or decreased appetite. Other common early warning signs include fatigue, irritability, constipation or diarrhea, muscle weakness, and irregular menstrual cycles. If you notice any combination of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor for further testing.
Slowed heart rate
Slowed heart rate is a common early warning sign of thyroid problems. When the thyroid gland isn’t functioning properly, it can cause the heart to beat more slowly than normal. This can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. If you suspect that you may have a thyroid problem, it’s important to see your doctor for an evaluation.
Increased heart rate
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that lies flat against the windpipe (trachea) in the neck. The thyroid’s job is to make thyroid hormone, which is secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should.
There are two main types of thyroid problems: hyperthyroidism (too much hormone) and hypothyroidism (too little hormone). Both conditions can be caused by problems with the thyroid gland itself or with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus-parts of the brain that help control the thyroid.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. This can cause a number of symptoms including:
Increased heart rate Anxiety Nervousness Irritability Tremor Sweating Weight loss despite increased appetite
Hyperthyroidism can also cause more serious problems such as heart failure, osteoporosis, and problems during pregnancy. It can even be life-threatening if not treated. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease. This is an autoimmune disorder where antibodies produced by your immune system stimulate your thyroid to produce too much hormone.
Sensitivity to heat
Sensitivity to heat is a common symptom of thyroid problems. People with hyperthyroidism often feel unusually warm, and they may find that they can not tolerate hot weather or even hot showers. This increased sensitivity to heat is caused by the overproduction of thyroid hormone, which raises the body’s metabolism and causes it to produce more heat. In some cases, this can lead to fever. People with hypothyroidism may also feel sensitive to heat, but this is usually due to the slowed metabolism that characterizes this condition.
Sensitivity to cold
According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the earliest signs of thyroid problems is feeling cold all the time. This is because your thyroid is responsible for regulating your body temperature. If it’s not working properly, you may feel like you can’t get warm, no matter how many layers of clothes you put on or how high you turn up the heat.
Other early warning signs of thyroid problems include fatigue, weight gain, dry skin and hair, constipation, and muscle weakness. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor so that he or she can run some tests and determine if there is indeed a problem with your thyroid.