What Are the Symptoms for Thyroid Problems?
Good question. Maybe the first question we should ask is: what does the thyroid gland do?
The Thyroid Gland
I have heard the thyroid described as your body’s thermostat, and I like that description. Too much, and the house gets too hot—this is like hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). Too little, and the house will be freezing cold—this is like hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). What you want is for the thermostat to stay in the middle.
With that in mind, many of these symptoms can go in either direction, depending on whether you have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Now: what are the symptoms for thyroid problems?
Fatigue or Insomnia
Are you tired all the time? Do you sleep ten hours a night and feel sleepy when you wake up? Do you need to take a nap every day, even though you get what should be enough sleep? This could be a sign of hypothyroidism.
On the other hand, if you can’t get to sleep, that could be a sign of hyperthyroidism.
Unexplained Weight Gain or Loss
Weight loss or gain by itself isn’t a symptom of a thyroid problem, but if it comes for no particular reason, it might. This can be particularly telling if, for example, you are unable to lose weight despite going on a diet, or if you are unable to gain weight despite eating loads and loads of food.
Low Mood or Anxiety
If your mood skyrockets in one direction or the other—depression or anxiety—you might have a thyroid problem. Thyroid-induced anxiety can even lead to panic disorder, if it goes on long enough.
Thyroid problems can also cause “thin skin,” increased sweating, and even hair loss!
If you feel mentally unclear and have difficulty concentrating, that can be a sign of thyroid problems, too.
Qualities That Predispose You To Thyroid Problems
You might be more likely to experience thyroid problems if you’re a smoker, a woman (especially if you just gave birth), have been exposed to lithium or radiation, have certain other conditions, or have a family history of thyroid problems.
What To Do If You Experience These Symptoms
One nutritional supplement that is vital for proper thyroid functioning is iodine. Some great sources of iodine include kelp supplements and seaweed. If you think you might have a thyroid problem, however, you should talk to your doctor rather than self-diagnosing. Thyroid function can be influenced by a lot of other factors, like certain medications.