Symptoms That Could Point to a Thyroid Problem

Spotlight on Health
Symptoms That Could Point to a Thyroid Problem Photo

The thyroid is the butterfly-shaped gland located inside the lower base of your neck. This important gland produces hormones that control your metabolism and many other bodily functions. There are various conditions and diseases of the thyroid that affect millions of Americans each year, making it essential to know the warning signs.

Take a look at these most common thyroid conditions and their symptoms, so you know what to look out for:

Hyperthyroidism

With this thyroid condition, the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much of its hormone, leading to a metabolism increase. About 1% of women and even fewer men have hyperthyroidism. An autoimmune problem, called Graves’ disease, is the number one cause of hormone overproduction. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

    Restlessness

Rapid heartbeat

Increased sweating

Irritability

Anxiety and nervousness

Trouble sleeping

Thin skin

Brittle hair and nails

Weak muscles

Diarrhea

Unintended weight loss

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is the opposite of hyperthyroidism, and with this condition, the thyroid gland is underactive and can’t produce enough hormones, leading to a slower metabolism. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis most commonly causes this condition, affecting about 4.6% of individuals 12 years or older. While most cases of hypothyroidism are mild, these are the symptoms to look for:

    Feeling cold

Tiring more easily

Increased sensitivity to cold

Forgetfulness and memory problems

Slower heart rate

Dry skin

Constipation

Weight gain

Thyroid Nodules

Thyroid nodules are growths and lumps that form on or in the thyroid gland. Very common in people over the age of 60, these nodules can appear alone or in groups. It’s not clear why these nodules appear, but in most cases, they are harmless. Though they typically don’t cause symptoms, you may notice symptoms similar to hyperthyroidism if the nodules are leading to other problems:

    Rapid heartbeat

Anxiety and nervousness

Increased appetite

Clammy skin

Unintended weight loss

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer develops when the abnormal cells uncontrollably multiply to form a tumor on the thyroid gland. When caught early, thyroid cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer. While some individuals with the condition won’t experience any severe symptoms, here are the signs to look for:

    Lump in your neck or throat

Neck or throat pain

Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and throat

Difficulty swallowing

Changes to your voice, including hoarseness

A persistent cough

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