Symptoms of Thyroid Problems

thyroidCommon Symptoms of Thyroid Problems
Located on the front part of the neck, the thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolic rate. In addition to determining how fast our bodies consume calories to produce energy, these hormones regulate body temperature and control how we utilize vitamins, while also managing the growth and maturation of body tissues. When diseases or genetic problems compromise thyroid function, the gland may produce either too much (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) thyroid hormone. When this occurs, patients can experience a number of troubling symptoms that can significantly impact their quality of life.
Symptoms of Thyroid Disorders
When someone is experiencing hyperthyroidism, he or she may suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss, despite excessive appetite
  • Diarrhea or more frequent bowel movements
  • Trembling hands and/or muscle weakness
  • Goiter (enlargement in neck)
  • Shorter or lighter menstrual periods
  • Excessive perspiration, nervousness, higher blood pressure, heart palpitations, increased heart rate

When someone is experiencing hypothyroidism, he or she may suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Reduced heart rate
  • Depression, slower mental processes or lethargy
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands
  • Goiter (enlargement in neck)
  • Heavy menstrual periods, constipation, dry skin and hair
  • Excessive sleeping

Tests and Treatment
Your doctor can determine whether you suffer from thyroid problems by taking blood tests that measure the level of TSH and sometimes the level of the thyroid hormone thyroxine. If you are having problems, he or she may prescribe medications to better manage your hormone levels. In some cases, patients may also require surgery or radioactive iodine therapy. In most cases, patients enjoy relatively normal lives with proper treatment. If you think you may be suffering from thyroid problems, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.

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