What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Dysfunction?

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Dysfunction? 

There are a number of signs and symptoms associated with a thyroid problem. These include hair loss, infertility, depression, and anxiety. In addition, there are also muscle aches and breakdown without any apparent cause. The symptoms often affect the neck muscles first. A person may also have difficulty swallowing. 

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Hair loss 

Hair loss is one of the most common signs of thyroid dysfunction, and it is an indication that your thyroid is malfunctioning. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism throughout the body, including regulating the rate of hair growth. These hormones are also important for brain development and heart function. A dysfunctional thyroid can affect your hair and lead to diffuse thinning across your scalp. You may notice that your hair is falling out more often, or that it accumulates in your plughole or hairbrush. 

If you are losing your hair due to thyroid dysfunction, your doctor may prescribe medication to help treat the underlying condition. These medications may be levothyroxine sodium, also known as Synthroid, Levothroid, Unithroid, or Levoxyl. Hair loss associated with thyroid medication is often temporary. If you’re concerned about the effects of thyroid medication, talk to your doctor before deciding to stop taking it. If hair loss persists, you can try applying topical medications to encourage hair growth. 

Depression 

One of the most common symptoms of thyroid dysfunction is depression. This condition is treatable and, in some cases, can even be treated with thyroid replacement medication. Thyroid medication works by suppressing the thyroid gland and replacing the hormones that are missing. Some patients find that this treatment helps them to feel better. In addition, the medication helps their body regulate its own hormone levels, which can reduce the symptoms of depression. 

Although most depression is not caused by the thyroid, it may be the result of an underactive thyroid. Studies have shown that hypothyroidism may lead to depression in patients with affective disorders, including major depression. However, there are still many patients with depression who are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism. In these cases, treatment for the depressed person should be individualized. 

Anxiety 

Anxiety is a common symptom of thyroid dysfunction, which is also linked to depression and other mental health conditions. Thyroid dysfunction is difficult to diagnose and treat, but it is possible to reduce anxiety by correcting the underlying physical problem. In some cases, non-drug treatments can help. However, if the condition persists, a doctor may prescribe an antidepressant medication. If the symptoms are severe, a referral to a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist may be appropriate. 

People suffering from either an overactive or an underactive thyroid often experience anxiety. Studies have shown that approximately 60% of people with hyperthyroidism and 30% of people with hypothyroidism have symptoms of anxiety. Furthermore, people with an overactive thyroid have a higher rate of anxiety disorders, including panic attacks and agoraphobia. In contrast, people with hypothyroidism experience anxiety at lower rates than those with an underactive thyroid. 

Infertility 

Thyroid disorders can interfere with the production of hormones necessary for a woman to conceive. These hormones regulate her menstrual cycle, which includes ovulation, fertilization, and implantation. Women with thyroid disorders often experience irregular menstrual cycles. Some of these symptoms include irregular periods that are more than 35 days apart. Other symptoms include infrequent or irregular menstruation, polymenorrhea, or very light periods. A doctor can diagnose and treat the disorder and help a woman become pregnant. 

A physician should check all patients seeking infertility advice for thyroid dysfunction. This can be done through a physical examination and medical history. Other symptoms of thyroid dysfunction include weight changes, irritability, palpitations, and menstrual disturbances. 

Joint pain 

If you are experiencing joint pain, you may have an underactive thyroid. When the thyroid is underactive, it doesn’t produce the hormones it should. This can lead to other problems, such as muscle and joint aches. Thyroid dysfunction can also affect the body’s metabolism, which can affect weight. 

The thyroid gland secretes a hormone called Thyroxine, which regulates metabolism, or how your body converts food to energy. When the thyroid is underactive, it produces fewer Thyroxine hormones. When this happens, your body will have trouble using the food you eat to fuel your body. This can affect your ability to exercise and may lead to functional impairment or injury. Underactive thyroid also causes joint pain and swelling due to fluid buildup in the joints.