About 20 million Americans have some degree of thyroid disease, but most sufferers don’t even realize they have an issue. When left untreated, early signs of a thyroid problem can eventually lead to heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, or cancer.
Women are up to eight times more likely than men to develop thyroid conditions during their lives, and the risk increases as we age. To protect against worsening medical issues, identifying early thyroid problem symptoms is crucial.
This article will explore some of the signs of a thyroid issue that should be brought up with your doctor. If you are worried about a thyroid condition, seeking services in integrative health in Scottsdale can help you address concerns before they become lasting health issues.
1. Temperature Sensitivity
Your thyroid sits in the middle of your neck above the collarbone. Its primary purpose is to manage your body’s metabolism.
As with most bodily systems, the hormonal balance is crucial for the thyroid to do its job correctly. If it doesn’t make enough hormones, you’ll suffer from hypothyroidism, while too much production causes hyperthyroidism.
Metabolism has an enormous impact on your body’s internal temperature, and you may notice some uncomfortable changes if your thyroid slows it down or speeds it up past a normal rate.
When your metabolism is higher from hyperthyroidism, your body burns more calories and raises your body temperature. Even in cooler climates, you may feel yourself heating up to the point of sweating.
Hypothyroidism has the opposite effect, where a slowdown in hormones drops your body temperature. You may find yourself shivering and cold, especially in your hands and feet.
2. Changes in Energy Levels
An overactive thyroid creates a lot of energy, and you may find yourself restless and agitated. A telltale sign of a thyroid issue is a rapid heartbeat along with trembling hands and fingers. Your nervousness and irritability can make it difficult to sleep as well.
Hypothyroidism entails a lack of energy, and you’ll find yourself feeling tired and weak. Muscle weakness is common with hyperthyroidism as well, but you’ll feel more fatigued with hypothyroidism.
3. Appetite and Bowel Problems
Because you’re turning food into energy at a faster rate, hyperthyroidism will often make you feel hungrier as your body tries to keep up. Meanwhile, an underactive thyroid will do the opposite, making you feel less hungry as your body slows down its energy production.
As the thyroid provides much of the fuel for your body’s systems, any thyroid problems can cause them to slow down or speed up. That includes your digestive system, which will react in a certain way if you have a hormonal imbalance.
With an overactive thyroid, your digestive system will speed up. Your body won’t have as much time to take in nutrients or process waste correctly, and you’ll experience softer stools or diarrhea. Hypothyroidism will slow your digestion, and it’s not uncommon to become constipated.
4. Weight Fluctuations
One of the more well-known signs of a thyroid problem is weight gain, which happens in people with hypothyroidism. Weight gain is usually mild and more a result of stored water and salt than extra fat.
Hyperthyroidism can cause more intense weight changes. Depending on the severity of the overactive thyroid, people with hyperthyroidism will often lose weight to varying degrees. But in some instances, the increased appetite that comes with the condition will cause a person to gain weight despite their higher metabolism.
5. Signs in Your Skin and Hair
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can both have serious effects on your skin, hair, and nails. An inactive thyroid slows down new cell growth, and it’s normal for old cells to hang around longer than they should. As a result, your skin will often become dry and flaky.
Your hair’s growth cycle will be disrupted as well. While old hair may fall out, new hair isn’t being made at the correct rate, and you’ll find thinning or balding patches start to emerge.
6. Menstrual Cycle Changes
Thyroid problems in women can show signs in the menstrual cycle, although this is more common in serious cases. Still, if you notice changes in the frequency of your periods, you should discuss your concerns with your doctor.
A thyroid imbalance can cause infrequent menstruation. You may even go several months without a period, a condition called amenorrhea. You will likely also experience heavier or lighter bleeding than is normal.
7. Muscular, Vision, and Vocal Issues
A thyroid problem can be felt across your entire body, and you may see a combination of symptoms including:
- Muscle and joint pain and stiffness
- Vision problems or dry, irritated eyes
- Hoarse voice
Along with your physical issues, you may also have trouble with focus and concentration. Having trouble with short-term memory is a common symptom of both overactive and underactive thyroids.
How to Test for Thyroid Issues
Each symptom by itself isn’t enough to tell whether you have a thyroid issue, and they may stem from another issue. If you have several worsening symptoms, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a naturopathic doctor in Scottsdale. They’ll be able to recommend effective thyroid testing and treatment programs for long-term health.
You can typically expect to receive various blood tests and a physical exam. Doctors look for signs of swelling and irregular hormone levels. They may also do ultrasound imaging on the thyroid tissue to look for abnormalities.
Don’t Ignore Signs of a Thyroid Problem
If you notice signs of a thyroid problem, search “naturopathic doctors near me”. When you work with naturopathic doctors in Scottsdale, AZ, you get the benefit of self-healing paths to treatment. Through a holistic approach, you can manage thyroid issues while improving your general health well into the future.
Are your thyroid problems affecting your quality of life? Contact our team at Core Optimal Health Solutions for information on our thyroid treatment programs.