The 7 Hypothyroidism Symptoms You Should Look Out For
By Judy Couch, FNP-C
We hear it a lot from new patients: you’re not feeling as well as you used to, but nothing seems overtly wrong on the surface. This general “unwell” feeling leads people to do a lot of research online, and many come to the conclusion that the way they feel could be due to a thyroid disorder.
Today, I’d like to break down the most common hypothyroidism symptoms so you can understand how important the thyroid is to your health, and what you can do to feel better.
The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism
There are quite a few symptoms of an underactive thyroid, but the most common include:
1. Thinning hair, nails, or skin
While hypothyroidism may not cause any noticeable symptoms early on, one of the first symptoms you’ll see is thin or brittle hair or nails. This occurs because hypothyroidism decreases circulation in your body, especially to your extremities.
The second, almost universal symptom that you’ll notice is fatigue, even after a good night’s rest. If you can’t get through the day without a nap or don’t sleep well (or at all) during the night, you should probably be tested for hypothyroidism.
3. Feeling cold
Another common complaint is feeling cold – even with a jacket on. Think of the thyroid hormone as your own personal furnace. Your body’s normal temperature should be 98.6℉. If your temperature is below that – say, 97.2℉ or even 97.6℉ – that is not normal. This could be an indication that you do not have enough thyroid hormone in your body.
4. Trouble thinking or a bad memory
The thyroid hormone is very important for cognitive function, both for thinking and memory. If you’re struggling to remember things, ask your doctor to have your labs drawn to see if this is a hypothyroidism symptom or something else.
5. Depression or low well-being
An underactive thyroid can cause a very poor sense of well-being, depression, and anxiety. The link between low thyroid and depression has been widely studied, and it’s been shown that thyroid medications can actually improve depression.
If you’re suffering from those hypothyroidism symptoms, it’s important to have your thyroid levels checked, specifically the Free T3. That is the active form of the thyroid hormone, and it’s a very important neurotransmitter.
6. Cardiovascular disease or high cholesterol
When we talk about cardiovascular disease, we’re actually talking about your cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels can actually be correlated to low thyroid, which is often overlooked as a cause. When the thyroid hormone drops, the liver is affected, it can’t function properly, and it over-produces cholesterol.
With thyroid hormone replacement, we can re-establish the balance and help the liver produce the appropriate amount of cholesterol. This will help your cholesterol naturally drop to healthy levels.
7. Iodine deficiency
Many people have become deficient in iodine because we’ve been told to use less salt in our diets. Iodine is necessary for a healthy thyroid gland because it helps repair damaged cells, as well as support your metabolism and cardiac function. It’s important to incorporate the right amount of iodine in your diet.
As you can see, there are many hypothyroidism symptoms. When looking at the reasons why you’re not feeling well, it’s important to have your labs drawn so we can see where the root causes are. Here at Your Wellness Center, we target the issues causing your symptoms, not just the symptoms themselves.
For more information about the thyroid, check out our Hypothyroidism Treatment page, read our blog on the symptoms of thyroid disorders, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or fill out a hypothyroidism self-assessment quiz.
If you think you are suffering from low thyroid (or have any of the hypothyroidism symptoms above), please call our office at 513-791-9474 to get your levels checked. Once we have your labs, we’ll review them with you to help you better understand where your thyroid levels are at and what you can do to feel better.