Does anyone know all the signs of a thyroid problem?

Hypothyroidism runs high in my family. Probably effects 7 out of 10.
About two years ago I experienced some problems and was tested for thyroid by a metobolic endocrinologist. Tests showed normal thyroid activity but I am still having issues. What are all the signs and should I go for a second test?

5 comments

  • Tyra B

    You don’t need to have all of these symptoms in order to have a thyroid problem, but here are some of the most common signs that you might have a thyroid condition.

    10. Muscle and Joint Pains, Carpal/Tendonitis Problems.
    Aches and pains in muscles and joints, and a tendency to develop carpal tunnel in the arms/hands, and tarsal tunnel in the legs, can all be symptoms of undiagnosed thyroid problems, most typically hypothyroidism.

    9. Neck Discomfort/Enlargement.
    A feeling of swelling in the neck, discomfort with turtlenecks or neckties, a hoarse voice, or a visibly enlarged thyroid can all be symptoms of thyroid disease. To find out if the thyroid is enlarged, you take a simple test at home. Hold a mirror so that you can see the area of your neck just below the Adam’s apple and right above the collarbone. Tip your head back, while keeping this view of your neck and thyroid area in your mirror. Take a drink of water and swallow. As you swallow, look at your neck. Watch carefully for any bulges, enlargement, protrusions, or unusual appearances in this area when you swallow, and if you see anything unusual, see your doctor right away.

    8. Hair / Skin Changes.
    Hair and skin are particularly vulnerable to thyroid conditions. With hypothyroidism, hair frequently becomes coarse and dry, breaking, brittle, and falls out easily. Skin can become coarse, thick, dry, scaly. In hypothyroidism, there is often an unusual loss of hair in the outer edge of the eyebrow. With hyperthyroidism, severe hair loss can also occur, and skin can become fragile and think.

    7. Bowel Problems.
    Severe or long-term constipation is frequently associated with hypothyroidism, while diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome is associated with hyperthyroidism.

    6. Menstrual Irregularities and Fertility Problems.
    Heavier, more frequent, more painful periods are frequently associated with hypothyroidism, and shorter, lighter, or infrequent menstruation can be associated with hyperthyroidism. Infertility can also be associated with undiagnosed thyroid conditions.

    5. Family History.
    A family history of thyroid problems puts you at higher risk of having a thyroid condition yourself. But you may not always be aware of thyroid problems in your family, as among older people, they are often referred to as "gland trouble" or "goiter." So pay attention to any discussions of glandular conditions or goiter or weight gain due to "glandular trouble" as these may be referring to thyroid conditions.

    4. Fatigue.
    Feeling exhausted when you wake up, feeling as if 8 or 10 hours of sleep a night is insufficient, or being unable to function a full day without a nap can all be signs of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. (With hyperthyroidism, you may have nighttime insomnia that leaves you exhausted during the day.)

    3. Depression and Anxiety.
    Depression or anxiety — including sudden onset of panic disorder — can be symptoms of thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism is most typically associated with depression, while hyperthyroidism is more commonly associated with anxiety or panic attacks. Depression that does not respond to anti-depressants may also be a sign of an undiagnosed thyroid disorder.

    2. Weight Changes.
    You may be gaining weight but eating and working out the same as always, or you’re losing weight, and eating the same amount of food as usual — or even eating more than normal. Weight changes — up or down — can be signs of both hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.

    1. Difficulty Losing Weight.
    You may be on a low-fat, low-calorie diet with rigorous exercise program, but are failing to lose any weight, or even gaining. Or you may have joined a diet program, or support group like Weight Watchers, and you’re following it to the letter, and are the only one who isn’t losing any weight. Difficulty losing weight can be a sign of hypothyroidism.

  • sukditup

    Chronic coldness, fatigue, depression, weight gain, dry skin, brittle nails, thinning hair, irregular menstrual cycles. Look to see if you have an enlarged thyroid gland on the front of your neck (the thyroid enlarges to try to keep up with the demand for thyroid hormones).

  • takicutie2004

    One of the common signs is either of the two extremes… Either you tend to become obese or extremely thin because it affects your metabolism.

  • Genvieve

    fatigue; unexplained weight gain & inability to lose weight even with regular, RIGOROUS exercise over a long time period; dry hair & skin, inability to control body temperature (usually you’re too cold, but some people can get too hot ’cause they don’t sweat the way they should, so their bodies can’t cool off); foggy thinking; poor memory; complexion changes; hair loss. there are many others, but these are some of the ones that bothered me the most.

    i was told that my thyroid was "normal." my advice?: get a copy of the results & see if YOU think they are normal. there’s lots of dispute over what the normal range is, & sometimes even if you are out of the normal range, they will still tell you you’re normal or bordeline. maybe YOUR normal is lower than most people’s. or maybe they’re going by the "old" range for TSH, which was up to 5.5. the new range is 2 or 3.something. i’d get a full thyroid workup, tho, rather than just the TSH.

    here’s a starting place: http://thyroid.about.com/mbiopage.htm

    i’ve read 2 of her (mary shoman’s) books. there are also some really good yahoo groups — http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/thyroid/ — for example, but there are quite a few others. you can ask questions on that site, & even have people tell you what they think of your thyroid panel results.

    if i’d accepted my dr’s diagnosis of "normal," i’d be VERY unhappy now. i’d have had to drop out of school & i’d be 40 lbs overweight. having been very thin/fit & a straight-A student most of my entire life, i could not deal w/ being unhealthy & dumb.

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