How Do I Know if I Have a Thyroid Problem?
Thyroid problems are among the most common endocrine disorders and affect women nearly ten times more often than men. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 8 women have a thyroid problem. If you have noticed changes in your overall health – such as sudden weight gain or fatigue – you may be wondering, “How do I know if I have a thyroid problem?”
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that produces hormones that influence almost all of the metabolic processes in your body. The most common thyroid disorders involve either the overproduction of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism) or the underproduction of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism). Because the thyroid impacts so many bodily functions, symptoms often manifest throughout the body – from bowel problems and sleep disruption to weight changes and increased sensitivity to heat or cold. The exact symptoms, however, are often opposite, depending on whether the thyroid is underactive or overactive.
How Do I Know if I Have a Thyroid Problem? – Symptoms
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism:
- Anxiety, nervousness, irritability
- Fast or uneven heartbeat, heart palpitations
- Fine, thinning hair
- Frequent bowel movements and/or diarrhea
- Increased appetite
- Increased sensitivity to heat
- Muscle weakness
- Short or irregular periods
- Sudden weight loss
- Swelling at the base of the neck
- Thinner skin
- Trembling in your hands or fingers
- Trouble sleeping
Symptoms of hypothyroidism:
- Brain fog
- Brittle hair and nails
- Dry skin
- Feeling tired all the time
- Heavy or more frequent periods
- Impaired memory
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Muscle and joint pain
- Sudden weight gain
Other Symptoms of Thyroid Disorders
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder and is responsible for more than 90 percent of hypothyroid cases. Knowing whether or not you have Hashimoto’s is important because you need to address the underlying autoimmune issue to stop your body from attacking your thyroid and causing further damage. Symptoms specific to Hashimoto’s include feeling worse despite taking your thyroid medication; swinging back and forth between underactive and overactive thyroid symptoms; and suffering from pernicious anemia, celiac disease, or other autoimmune diseases.
Neck or throat discomfort/abnormalities can be associated with hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, nodules, goiter (an enlarged thyroid), and thyroid cancer. If you have a visibly enlarged neck, a feeling of swelling or fullness in the neck, a hoarse or raspy voice, or tenderness in the neck, you should discuss it with your doctor right away.
How Do I Know if I Have a Thyroid Problem? – Testing
Thyroid problems are diagnosed through a simple blood test that checks your thyroid levels. Have your blood drawn in the morning for the most accurate results, as your thyroid levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day. If your doctor suspects your hypothyroidism symptoms are being caused by Hashimoto’s, they will order additional blood tests to check for TPO and TGB antibodies
How Do I Know if I Have a Thyroid Problem? Find Answers at Anchor Wellness Center
If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms, call Anchor Wellness today at (832) 246-8437 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Minni Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM. As a Board Certified physician in Family Medicine and with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Malhotra can evaluate your thyroid function and develop a course of treatment. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of thyroid disorders and supplementing with the appropriate nutritional testing can result in reversing many thyroid dysfunctions. We also use bioidentical thyroid replacement to optimize your levels and help your body respond to the changes.