The thyroid is a gland and an organ that sits just below the Adam’s apple. It’s the largest organ in the endocrine system. The thyroid plays a critical role in a variety of body functions because it excretes various hormones and enzymes.
Unfortunately, women age 35 and up have a higher chance of suffering from a thyroid disorder unknowingly. In the US alone, at least 30 million Americans suffer from various forms of thyroid disease and half of these people are not aware that they have a thyroid problem! There are many reasons why the thyroid gland becomes faulty. Below are tell-tale signs of a thyroid problem:
Do you feel worn out, tired or low in energy despite getting enough sleep last night? Chronic fatigue is one of the most common signs of hypothyroidism. This condition occurs when the thyroid is not releasing enough hormones to complete certain body processes. In short, hypothyroidism is an underperforming thyroid gland. When the body is unable to get enough hormones from the thyroid, the muscles are not working at their best. This translates to inexplicable fatigue that does not go away completely.
Not all days are happy ones but if you’ve been feeling more morose than usual, it’s probably because your thyroid is underperforming. When the thyroid is not releasing enough hormones in the body, the brain is unable to produce enough serotonin to balance mood. During this moment, you’ll feel sad or depressed.
Before diagnosing a thyroid condition, most doctors will ask patients about their menstruation cycles. A woman’s menstrual cycle is indicative of a thyroid disorder.
Longer than usual menstrual period punctuated with a heavy flow and lots of cramping could be a sign of hypothyroidism. When the hormone supply in the body is reduced, menstrual cycles become closer together. On the other hand, irregular menstruation with lighter flow is a sign of an overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism.
Unexplained Muscle Soreness and Stiffness
Do you suffer from mysterious numbness or pain in the legs, feet, arms or hands? An underperforming thyroid can cause nerve damage. Overtime, the nerves start malfunctioning too, causing mixed signals between the brain and the muscles. This causes unexplained muscle pain, soreness, and tingles.
A low libido is a sign of a thyroid problem. When the thyroid is not secreting enough hormones, the cumulative impact includes a significant loss of interest in sex as well as low energy, weight gain, and random muscle pains.
Another classic symptom of a thyroid disorder is extremely dry skin. When the body is no longer getting enough hormones from the thyroid, the metabolic rate slows down too. And when it does, the skin changes in texture and appearance. It will start drying up and becoming scaly. Then, the nails will start developing ridges and become extremely brittle.
High Blood Pressure
If there’s one thing hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism have in common, it’s that both thyroid disorder causes high blood pressure. People suffering from hypothyroidism are 3 times at risk of developing hypertension. Doctors are not sure how hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism cause high blood pressure, but one theory is that low hormones slow down the beating of the heart. This weakens the circulation of blood in the arteries.