What Are Early Warning Signs of Thyroid Problems?

Reviewed on 8/24/2021

Early signs of thyroid problems include many symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, mood changes, anger, anxiety, depression, weight loss, weight gain, oily skin, dry skin, sensitivity to temperature changes, and others.
Early signs of thyroid problems include many symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, mood changes, anger, anxiety, depression, weight loss, weight gain, oily skin, dry skin, sensitivity to temperature changes, and others.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located below the Adam’s apple in the lower part of the neck that wraps around the windpipe (trachea). 

The thyroid plays a role in a number of bodily functions, including: 

  • Metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, electrolytes, and water
  • Metabolic rate (oxygen consumption)
  • Growth and development
  • Resistance to infection
  • Vitamin requirements
  • Reproduction
  • Playing a role in metabolic rate 
  • Maintaining bone health
  • Maintaining muscle control
  • Preserving brain function and development
  • Maintaining heart and digestive functions

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) occurs when a person produces insufficient amounts of thyroid hormone. The opposite of hypothyroidism is hyperthyroidism (also called overactive thyroid), a condition in which the body produces too much thyroid hormone and increases the body’s metabolism. 

Early signs of thyroid problems include: 

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Mood changes
  • Weight changes
    • Weight loss (hyperthyroidism)
    • Weight gain (hypothyroidism)
  • Skin problems
    • Oily skin (hyperthyroidism)
    • Dry skin (hypothyroidism)
  • Sensitivity to temperature changes
    • Difficulty in hot weather, sweating when it’s not excessively hot, hot flashes (hyperthyroidism)
    • Difficulty in cold weather, needing to wear extra layers inside, cold feet and hands (hypothyroidism)
  • Vision changes (occurs more often with hyperthyroidism)
    • Watery eyes
    • Eye redness or dryness
    • Difficulty closing the eyelids
    • Bulging eyes
  • Hair thinning or hair loss (hyperthyroidism)
  • Memory problems (both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism)
  • Lumps or nodules on the neck
    • May be a sign of thyroid cancer
    • See a doctor if you notice a lump on the neck

What Are Symptons of Hypothyroidism?

Common symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) may include:

  • Fatigue/lethargy
  • Loss of energy
  • Weight gain
  • Weakness in extremities
  • Decreased appetite
  • Constipation
  • Sleepiness
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Mood swings 
  • Depression
  • Mental impairment
  • Cold intolerance
  • Impaired memory/forgetfulness
  • Mental impairment
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fertility problems
  • Menstrual disturbances
  • Decreased sweating
  • Numbness and tingling and nerve entrapment syndromes
  • Decreased hearing
  • Mood swings 
  • The feeling of fullness in the throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Nail problems 

What Are Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) may not cause any symptoms. When symptoms of hyperthyroidism occur, they may include:

QUESTION

Where is the thyroid gland located? See Answer

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Reviewed on 8/24/2021
References
https://www.hormone.org/your-health-and-hormones/glands-and-hormones-a-to-z/hormones/thyroid-hormones

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/hypothyroidism-underactive-thyroid-the-basics?search=Hypothyroidism&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/hyperthyroidism-overactive-thyroid-beyond-the-basics?search=Hyperthyroidism&topicRef=15437&source=see_link

https://medicaltransformationcenter.com/what-are-early-warning-signs-of-thyroid-problems/