Symptoms and Signs of Thyroid Problems

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 11/12/2021

Doctor's Notes on Thyroid Problems

Problems or diseases with the thyroid range from underactivity or overactivity of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, respectively), nodules or lumps in the gland, inflammation of the gland (thyroiditis), and cancers of the thyroid gland. The cause of these conditions varies depending on the exact type of thyroid problem that is present.

Just as the causes of thyroid problems vary, the symptoms and signs of thyroid problems vary according to the exact type of thyroid disease. Associated symptoms and signs may include:

  • enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter),
  • the presence of lumps or nodules within the thyroid gland,
  • weight gain or loss,
  • menstrual irregularities,
  • skin and hair changes, 
  • constipation,
  • muscle weakness,
  • racing heart or slow heart rate, and
  • changes in energy or mood.

What Is the Treatment for Thyroid Problems?

Treatment for thyroid problems varies according to the type of thyroid problem that is present and may include:

  • Medications to replace thyroid hormones
  • Medications to manage hyperthyroidism symptoms
  • Radioactive ablation using radioactive iodine to destroy thyroid tissue 
  • Surgical removal of cysts or growths
  • Surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid gland

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.