Symptoms of an Underactive Thyroid

Do you think that you may have an underactive thyroid? You’re not alone—it’s estimated that at least 15 million Americans have an undiagnosed thyroid disease, the majority of whom are women. Conventional medical tests aren’t always effective in diagnosing thyroid problems until the ailment becomes more severe, therefore, thyroid diseases may be present for years before they are finally detected and diagnosed.  It is vital to understand the symptoms of an underactive thyroid in order to recognize them.  Being knowledgeable and in tune with your own body can often be a more accurate, more powerful tool than standard medical tests.  Before we dive into the 10 most common symptoms of an underactive thyroid, let’s review the thyroid.

The thyroid—a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck—is one of the largest endocrine glands in the body. It regulates the body’s metabolic rate by secreting hormones into the bloodstream..  The thyroid also works in conjunction with the pituitary gland, which releases thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and causes the thyroid gland to produce two more hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Because these hormones influence the rate of cellular metabolism throughout the body—including organs such as the kidneys, liver, heart and brain—it is imperative that the thyroid is healthy and is functioning properly.  Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is underactive and therefore does not make enough thyroid hormone.  Because the thyroid is responsible for producing energy, an underactive thyroid gland can wreak havoc on our lives. Fortunately, there are ten easy warnings signs that can indicate an underactive thyroid:  

  1. Severe fatigue / loss of energy:

    The fatigue from hypothyroid can be so severe that even a full night’s rest is not satisfying.

  2. Weight gain / difficulty losing weight:

           When your thyroid is underactive — even a little bit —  your entire metabolism slows down, causing unexplained weight gain or difficulty                        shedding even a few pounds despite real efforts.

  1. Memory loss / brain fog / poor concentration:

    Hypothyroidism doesn’t just mean physical symptoms. Remember, the hormone deficiency from an underactive thyroid slows everything down, including neurological functions.

  2. Depression:

  3. It is common for people to take anti-depressants when they should really be taking thyroid medication, since having low free T3 can cause depression.
  4. Dry skin and brittle nails:

    Rashes and dry patches of itchy skin, as well as breakable nails, are signs of imbalance in your thyroid hormones.

  5. Increased sensitivity to cold / lower body temperature:

    Because thyroid hormones help regulate body temperature, increased sensitivity to cold and low body temperature are both telltale signs of an imbalance.  

  6. Low libido:

    Imbalances in your thyroid can impact your reproductive hormones, and therefore lower your sex drive.

  7. Hair loss:

    Although hair loss can be a symptom of several ailments, an underactive thyroid is often the cause. Hair loss caused by an underactive thyroid is dispersed, affecting the entire scalp rather than just distinct areas on the head.

  8. Constipation:

    Since hypothyroidism slows down all of the body’s functions, it also slows down the digestive tract and the muscles that line both the small and large intestines, causing constipation.

  9. Puffiness in face:

    Another distinct symptom of hypothyroidism is puffiness in the face, most commonly around the eyes.

Do you have the warning signs?

If you have any or all of the symptoms listed above and suspect that you have an underactive thyroid, we encourage you to listen to your body. We are here to help you take a proactive role in your own health! The team at NY Health & Wellness are thyroid experts.  We will help you devise a plan to correct your thyroid and alleviate all of the pesky symptoms that you have been suffering from for way too long. After listening to your clinical symptoms and thoroughly evaluating your lab work, we will create a personalized program for you to follow that includes vitamins and supplements, dietary changes, a fitness routine, and bioidentical hormones if necessary. It is our goal to have these lifestyle adjustments resolve the root cause of your symptoms so that you feel your very best without lifelong prescription medication.