If you’re feeling tired, gaining weight, or having difficulty concentrating, it could be a sign that your thyroid is malfunctioning. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck that produces hormones that regulate metabolism, energy levels, and other important bodily functions. When the thyroid is not functioning properly, it can cause a variety of symptoms. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the signs that your thyroid may be malfunctioning, according to doctors. We’ll also provide some tips on what to eat and what to avoid to help keep your thyroid healthy.
Signs Your Thyroid is Malfunctioning According to Doctors
Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck. It produces hormones that regulate your metabolism, heart rate, and body temperature. When your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, it can cause a variety of symptoms. Here are some signs that your thyroid may be malfunctioning, according to doctors.
1. Unexplained Weight Gain
If you’re gaining weight without changing your diet or exercise habits, it could be a sign that your thyroid isn’t functioning properly. When your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones, your metabolism slows down, which can lead to weight gain.
If you’re feeling tired all the time, even after a full night’s sleep, it could be a sign that your thyroid isn’t functioning properly. When your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones, it can cause fatigue and make it difficult to get out of bed in the morning.
3. Dry Skin
Dry skin can be a sign of an underactive thyroid. When your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones, it can cause your skin to become dry and flaky. If you’re experiencing dry skin, it’s important to talk to your doctor to determine the cause.
4. Hair Loss
Hair loss can be a sign of an underactive thyroid. When your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones, it can cause your hair to become thin and brittle. If you’re experiencing hair loss, it’s important to talk to your doctor to determine the cause.
Depression can be a sign of an underactive thyroid. When your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones, it can cause you to feel depressed and have difficulty concentrating. If you’re experiencing depression, it’s important to talk to your doctor to determine the cause.
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor to determine the cause. Your doctor can perform tests to determine if your thyroid is functioning properly and recommend treatment if necessary.
Hypothyroidism is a condition where the underactive thyroid isn’t creating and releasing enough thyroid hormones, leading to a number of concerning health conditions. “Your thyroid, a tiny, butterfly-shaped gland located in front of your windpipe (trachea) and below your voice box (larynx) can have a profound impact on your health and well-being,” says Jeffrey Garber, MD, FACP, MACE. “Throughout life, your thyroid is constantly producing hormones that influence your metabolism. These hormones affect your mood, energy, body temperature, weight, heart, and more. Your thyroid produces two kinds of thyroid hormones: T4, or thyroxine, and T3, or triiodothyronine. These hormones influence every cell, tissue, and organ in your body, from your muscles, bones, and skin to your digestive tract, brain, and heart, by controlling how fast and efficiently cells convert nutrients into energy — a chemical activity known as metabolism.” Here are five sure signs your thyroid is malfunctioning, according to experts. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Weight gain is a common symptom of hypothyroidism, according to experts. “Hypothyroidism from any cause results in a decrease in energy metabolism, or the basal metabolic rate,” says endocrinologist Eve D. Bloomgarden, MD. “Patients often experience a modest amount of weight gain prior to diagnosis because of this metabolic slowing. Importantly, once the hypothyroidism is treated with thyroid hormone, the basal metabolic rate returns to normal, and the weight also returns to normal. If it does not, I work with my patients to address other causes of weight gain, in particular focusing on getting adequate sleep, making healthy food choices and exercising.”
Can’t handle the cold? It might be your thyroid. “The thyroid gland has been called a thermostat for our body, as it helps to regulate heat,” says Izabella Wentz, PharmD, FASCP. “People with hypothyroidism are prone to having low body temperatures and cold intolerance. It’s one of those symptoms that we often brush off, don’t notice and don’t take seriously but can be very distressful when we do not take the proper precautions. People with hypothyroidism are also at greater risk of suffering from hypothermia, a potentially life-threatening condition when exposed to cold temperatures.”
Thyroid dysfunction can cause hair loss, experts explain. “Any changes in thyroid function could potentially cause hair loss, and sometimes it could be prolonged and it could be three months later, even when the levels are normal that you can start seeing improvement in the hair issue,” says endocrinologist Mary Vouyiouklis Kellis, MD. “But sometimes it’s not just the thyroid that can be affecting the hair loss, it can be other things, so looking to make sure there’s no iron deficiency would be one other thing to consider. And sometimes if you’re in menopause, in low estrogen state, that hair follicle starts to thin, so things start to appear, like you have thinning or thin hair, and that could also be a reason.
“Often we see people, ages 40 to 60, women who are getting diagnosed with thyroid conditions, and sometimes a lot of these symptoms can be menopause symptoms,” says Dr. Kellis. “It can be sort of poo pooed that, ‘Hey, you know, whatever, you’re going through menopause, leave me alone.’ But that’s actually not the case, because sometimes while it is menopause, you can also have a thyroid condition that needs to be evaluated. So, if you’re going through the change and you’re having irregular periods, it is important to have your thyroid evaluated, just in case that that could be the cause that your periods are irregular. Maybe your body’s not ready for menopause, but you’re having these irregular periods, because there’s thyroid dysfunction.
People with hypothyroidism need to be careful about how they exercise, doctors warn. “Excessive exercise can cause a person to go into heart failure if their thyroid hormones are not under control,” says endocrinologist Christian Nasr, MD. “I advise my patients with hypothyroidism not to exercise for a few weeks until their condition is well controlled with medications.”