Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Recognizing the Most Common Thyroid Disorder

The most common thyroid disorder is hypothyroidism. Hypo- means deficient or under(active), so hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid gland. Recognizing the symptoms of hypothyroidism is extremely important. The sooner you detect the symptoms, the sooner you can receive proper treatment to manage the disorder.

Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Below are major symptoms associated with hypothyroidism.

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight (despite reduced food intake)
  • Coarse, dry hair and dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Muscle cramps and aches
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Decreased libido
  • Slowed speech (severe cases)
  • Jaundice (severe cases)
  • Increase in tongue size (severe cases)

You don't have to encounter every one of these symptoms to be diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Every patient's experience with the disorder is different. While you may notice that your skin and hair have become dry and rough, another patient may be plagued more by fatigue and depression.

The thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level reflects the severity of the hypothyroidism. For example, if you have a mild form of hypothyroidism and a relatively lower TSH level, you may not notice—or even have—symptoms. That's because your hormone levels haven't decreased to the point where they have a major impact on your metabolism. The more hypothyroid you become, the more symptomatic you'll be.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism aren't always noticeable, but it's important that you understand what to look out for. Recognizing hypothyroidism early on will allow you to manage the disorder and prevent it from interfering with your life.