Seven Early Warnings of a Possible Thyroid problem
The thyroid is a gland in the neck that helps regulate almost all the metabolic processes in the human body. If you’re a woman over 35, there’s about a 1 in 3 chance you’ll develop some form of thyroid disorder. But don’t fear! Thyroid disorders can range from a harmless goiter to more serious conditions like Thyroid Cancer. However, early detection and modern medicine can provide an effective treatment for even more severe thyroid problems.
Today we’ll look at seven early signs and symptoms that could indicate a thyroid problem. Always seek professional medical attention and consult with a licensed physician if you think there might be a problem. The purpose of this article is to educate and inform, and NOT to replace professional medical advice. So, now that our lawyer friends are happy, let’s look at a few early signs to look out for.
1 – Exhaustion: According to this article from ABC News, fatigue is one of the most common signs of a thyroid condition. If you have a lack of thyroid hormones pumping through your bloodstream, it prevents your muscles from getting the right signals. If you want up after a full night of sleep and you’re still sluggish, you might need to have your levels checked.
2 – Signs of Hormone Imbalance: Mood swings, anxiety, depression, irregular periods, extreme PMS, infertility, and low sex drive have all been linked to thyroid issues. Because these are very common symptoms, their cause is often misunderstood and improperly diagnosed. If you’re on medication for any of the symptoms mentioned above, it might be a good idea to discuss thyroid testing with your doctor. But definitely read this article to make sure you’re getting the right lab panels done.
3 – Eyebrow Hair Loss: Specifically, the outer edges of your eyebrows. This is a unique sign of an under-active thyroid. If you notice this, forget the damn eyebrow pencil! You need to consult with your doctor instead. The specific tests recommended here are the TSH, Free Thyroxine (Free T4), Free Triiodothyronine (Free T3), Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPO), and Ferritin levels. If thyroid levels are the cause, your eyebrows will probably grow back with proper treatment by a licensed physician. If for some reason, you can’t convince your doctor to run all these tests, there is a convenient at-home testing option on Amazon that you might want to consider ordering.
4 – Early Signs of Hashimoto’s Disease: This is an autoimmune disorder that usually develops slowly with time. The immune system creates antibodies that attack your thyroid gland. The actual cause of this disorder is still unknown, but there is a list of early signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for. The most common are dry skin, constipation, tiredness, and a pale, puffy face. Brittle nails, hair loss, increased sensitivity to cold, and an enlargement of the tongue might also indicate Hashimoto’s Disease.
5 – Goiter: You’ve probably heard of someone developing a goiter before. It’s an enlargement of the thyroid gland that can sometimes be seen just below the Adam’s apple. Goiters can be caused by numerous different thyroid conditions including Hashimoto’s. If you notice a lump on or below your Adam’s apple, you should seek medical advice immediately. Here’s a great overview of goiter symptoms and causes to be on the lookout for.
6 – Myxedema: This term is usually used to describe a severe hypothyroidism that is accompanied by dermatologic changes such as Graves disease. This life-threatening condition is usually prevented through patient education because it is a symptom of untreated thyroid conditions. So, occurrences of Myxedema coma are rare in the US where treatment is readily available. However, you should be on the lookout for common symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
7 – Early Signs of Thyroid Cancer: These can include pain or swelling the in front of the neck that sometimes radiates to the ears, trouble swallowing, breathing, or a constant cough. These symptoms can also be caused by benign lumps in the thyroid, but that determination should always be made by a medical professional. See your doctor right away so they can diagnose the exact cause of these symptoms. Thyroid conditions can manifest themselves slowly over time with gradual worsening of symptoms. So it’s important to keep an eye on your health and energy levels, especially if you’re a woman over 35.
If you suspect you or a loved one might have signs of a thyroid condition, seek medical help immediately. A certified endocrinologist can order all the necessary tests to help diagnose and treat thyroid conditions.