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What Are the Symptoms of Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a disease in which the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone. There are many reasons for this to occur. Most commonly, it is due to an autoimmune disorder, called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, in which antibodies attack the thyroid, gradually making it inactive.

Here are some common symptoms of this disease:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight while on a reduced calorie and exercise program
  • Hair loss
  • Dry, brittle, lackluster hair
  • Dry, flaky, or rough-feeling skin
  • Sensitivity to cold, especially in the extremities
  • Muscle cramps and aches. Frequency may vary.
  • Depression
  • Memory loss or mental ‘fog’
  • Irritability
  • Constipation
  • Abnormal menstrual cycle (for women)
  • Decreased libido (for both sexes)
  • Difficulty conceiving or fertility problems (for women)
  • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or uselessness
  • Exhaustion despite having slept

Females, especially over the age of 35, are prone to developing this disorder. Obese people and individuals with a family history of hypothyroidism and/or other autoimmune diseases are also at risk.

However, there are a few symptoms, usually occurring after the disease has progressed a bit, which are clearly thyroid-related. Those are:

  • Low basal body temperature. Basal temperature, which is taken under the armpit, is believed to be a truer indicator of body temperature. Those with thyroid disease tend to be consistently below the normal level of 98.5.
  • Swollen thyroid gland or goiter.
  • Hoarse or gravelly voice, especially without the coexistence of a sore or strep throat.

If you have more than two or three of the symptoms from the first list and at least one or two from the bottom list, one can safely suspect that they are hypothyroid and should contact their doctor to have the appropriate tests done.

Article by Deanna Couras Goodson.

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