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12 signs that your thyroid gland is not working as it should

The thyroid gland controls metabolism and distributes hormones throughout the body. It has the shape of a butterfly and is located near the base of your neck, reports Ukr.Media.

"It produces hormones that regulate your metabolism, control the number of calories you burn, as well as how fast or slow your brain, heart, liver and other organs work," – said endocrinologist Christian Nasr.

Do you have an overactive or underactive thyroid?

In fact, you may not even know you have a thyroid problem. According to statistics, 30% of people experience it, with women 17 times more likely than men.

There are a few common but alarming symptoms. As soon as you notice at least a few, immediately make an appointment with a specialist.

Only a doctor can diagnose problems with the thyroid gland. Please remember that this article is intended to raise awareness, not to provide medical care.

With that said, let's look at the 12 most common symptoms of thyroid dysfunction.

1. Fatigue.

The thyroid gland controls your metabolism, which affects your weight and your ability to store and use energy.

If the glands are not functioning properly, you may notice regular fatigue, even after getting 8-10 hours of good sleep.

Sleep disorders are associated with a number of diseases and disorders, including depression, hypertension, etc. Therefore, you should undergo a diagnosis to get all the answers.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, when the thyroid the gland creates too much or too little hormone to regulate metabolism, patients often report psychological disturbances.

They can manifest in a variety of ways, but if you're feeling anxious, nervous, or depressed, chances are your thyroid is to blame.

3. Constipation.

This is because the primary role of the thyroid gland is, you guessed it, metabolism, so it controls the function of your digestive tract. When your body doesn't produce enough of the hormone, it leads to constipation.

On the other hand, an overactive thyroid can have the opposite effect, making you go to the bathroom too often. Any sudden changes – a reason to consult a doctor, as they can indicate other diseases.

4. Sweating.

"Is it hot in here, or is it just me and my overactive thyroid?" – you might think.

If your body is going through a tough time, you may notice excessive sweating. You can be very hot even when the room is cold.

5. Weight problems.

If you have an underactive thyroid gland, you will gain weight easily. If you have an overactive thyroid, you may have the opposite problem with weight gain.

Try not to get too obsessed with total weight, as this can be misleading. Body fat percentage is a better indicator, as weight can fluctuate greatly throughout the day.

More importantly, pay attention to any sudden changes in appetite.

6. Taste changes.

Due to thyroid dysfunction, you are likely to perceive the taste of certain foods incorrectly.

If you suddenly notice cravings for certain foods, sudden spikes or lack of appetite, you should have your thyroid checked.

7. Hair loss.

Severe and long-term thyroid problems can cause hair loss, according to the British Thyroid Foundation.

When your thyroid isn't functioning properly, your body mistakenly assumes that it needs to devote resources only to essential body functions.

In other words, your body thinks it has very limited energy reserves, so it goes into "save mode".

Unfortunately, your hair can be one of the main victims. In some cases, you may lose your hair completely. But the good news – adequate treatment usually completely restores it.

8. Pain in the muscles.

Thyroid problems can be very painful. According to the Mayo Clinic, physical symptoms include pain in the limbs and muscles. If you have arthritis, for example, thyroid dysfunction can make the disease worse.

Severe thyroid problems can also cause pain in the neck (where the thyroid gland is located).

You you may also notice cold sensations and numbness in your fingers and toes. This again has to do with changes in your body's energy regulation.

9. Enlarged lymph nodes.

If you will notice an increase in lymph nodes – this may be a sign of problems with the thyroid gland. But such a symptom is also characteristic of goiter – an increase in, but fully functional, lymph nodes.

The American Thyroid Association says that if you notice any visible changes, see your doctor immediately for proper diagnosis.

10. Dry skin.

Although hypothyroidism can cause you to sweat too much, as mentioned earlier, the reverse is also possible. A lack of moisture can quickly lead to dry, cracked or itchy skin.

This can affect other parts of your body. You may notice, for example, cracked, brittle fingernails and toenails.

Of course, dry nails and skin can also be caused by a lack of hydration, so make sure you drink enough water.

The Mayo Clinic recommends drinking at least 8 glasses of fluid per day.

11. High blood pressure.

Thyroid dysfunction is known to lead to high blood pressure.

The most popular theory is that thyroid dysfunction slows the heartbeat by affecting the flexibility of blood vessel walls. This ultimately leads to high blood pressure.

Similarly, an overactive thyroid gland causes the heart to beat faster, creating this effect.

In any case sudden changes in blood pressure always require a medical examination, so if you notice such a symptom, you should talk to your doctor.

12. Failure of the menstrual cycle.

Women may experience sudden changes in their menstrual cycle, although this is not always directly related to thyroid hormone production.

Instead, a change in metabolism can cause a woman's body to go into an anemic state (which means a shortage of red blood cells). This can lead to problems with having children, so again, it's a symptom that shouldn't be ignored.

If you notice any changes in your menstrual cycle, tell your doctor right away.

So what should you do if you have thyroid dysfunction?

First of all, see your doctor. You will not find treatment recommendations on the Internet – they can only inform you about potential symptoms and problems.

Remember that medical diagnoses should always be performed by a qualified physician. Many of the symptoms on this list can also apply to other illnesses, so don't try to treat your thyroid until you've had a full evaluation.

However, there is good news: if you do have thyroid dysfunction, treatment is more likely to work. in a matter of months.

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