by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
Do you think you have an underactive thyroid?
The fact is, while thyroid issues are much more common in women, many — if not most — still remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Here’s why:
- Symptoms of hypothyroidism can be mistaken for the similar symptoms of sex hormone imbalance.
- Women with mild and moderate symptoms may suffer from subclinical hypothyroidism — commonly called “low thyroid” — meaning even when they experience symptoms, their test results may appear in the “normal” range.
If you’re not feeling quite right, it’s worth taking a closer look at the symptom list below. Because once you know you’re suffering from an underactive thyroid, you can take natural steps — including herbal remedies, supplements, and diet and lifestyle changes found in our True Health Program — to restore your thyroid and feel better.
- severe fatigue, loss of energy
- weight gain, difficulty losing weight
- depression and depressed mood
- joint and muscle pain, headaches
- dry skin, brittle nails
- brittle hair, itchy scalp, hair loss
- irregular periods, PMS symptoms
- breast milk formation
- calcium metabolism difficulties
- difficulty tolerating cold and lower body temperature
- sleeping more than average
- diminished sex drive
- puffiness in face and extremities
- bruising/clotting problems
- elevated levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and heightened risk of heart disease
- allergies that suddenly appear or get worse
- persistent cold sores, boils, or breakouts
- tingling sensation in wrists and hands that mimics carpal tunnel syndrome
- memory loss, fuzzy thinking, difficulty following conversation or train of thought
- slowness or slurring of speech
- appearance of a goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid that is externally visible
By understanding the symptoms of hypothyroidism, women may identify issues earlier and find relief. If left untreated, symptoms may worsen over time.
Other thyroid issues
In addition to hypothyroidism, thyroid issues include Hashimoto’s disease, when the body forms antibodies that fight its own thyroid gland cells, creating permanent low thyroid function. Another condition is hyperthyroidism, which is an overactive thyroid. For more information, please see our page on hyperthyroidism.
If you suffer from several or more of the above symptoms and are worried that you could have a thyroid problem, your next best step would be to visit your healthcare provider to discuss your options. You may also find it useful to read our article on thyroid testing beforehand, to help you formulate good questions to ask your provider.