We all have those lazy days where we struggle to get out of bed and make ourselves productive. There are even times when our mood doesn’t allow us to stay positive throughout the day. The knowledge that these temporary setbacks won’t stop our lives from moving forward is all the comfort we need. However, it so happens that these problems may become a more dominant part of our lives than we could have anticipated. In such cases, it is best not to ignore any such issue, since they may be linked to thyroid problems.
An overproduction of hormones in the thyroid can make them become hyperactive. This usually happens when you feel exceptionally irritable or moody and your body feels overworked. Depression may prevent itself in mild forms, as well as severe forms such as panic attacks. However, mood swings are mostly associated with under-active thyroids. In this case, you may feel lethargic and may experience a temporary mental block every now and then.
Lack of Energy and Sleep
Fatigue and sleep go hand in hand. Although mild at first, fatigue symptoms should not be ignored once they occur persistently. You may feel like you are not getting enough rest no matter how many hours you sleep. This may be due to excessive sleeping or even insomnia. Not feeling active at any part of the day is the main identifying factor of a thyroid problem. On the other hand, feeling extra jumpy and even agitated may also be reasons to get the thyroid tested.
Excessive weight loss, or hypothyroidism, is a condition whereby patients cannot gain weight no matter how much they eat. Here, the thyroid becomes overactive and accelerates your metabolism, causing you to burn calories without any effort. By the same token, an under-active thyroid gland can cause excessive weight gain by slowing down your metabolism. In either case, it is imperative to take a trip to your doctor.
Your appetite changes are linked to weight fluctuation caused by thyroid problems. An under-active thyroid gland might destroy your appetite since your metabolism has been slowed down. Ironically, it can also increase your carbs and sugar cravings due to your lack of energy. If the gland is hyper-active, you may be famished all day long, no matter how much you eat. This is because your pumped-up metabolism burns your calories faster even when your resting, allowing you to eat more.
Digestion and Bowel Disturbances
The ups and downs in appetite directly affect digestion and bowel movements. Constipation often occurs for those experiencing under-active thyroid. Stools tend to be bulkier and cause pain as well as hemorrhoids in certain cases. Gas and bloating are also common symptoms of a thyroid problem. Inversely, over-active thyroid results in more urgent bowel movements. This is because stools tend to be loose and more full of liquid, which often results in diarrhea.
Menstrual and Fertility Problems
Irregular periods are a huge problem that women with thyroid problems may have to face. In addition, fertility issues may lead to difficulty getting pregnant, as well as miscarriages. Lighter periods may occur in women with under-active thyroids. They may even miss their periods altogether. Over-active thyroids, on the other hand, result in a heavier-than-normal blood flow. In this case, periods may last longer. Therefore, the same rule of becoming faster and heavier, or slower and lighter, applies with the menstrual cycle in terms of over and under-active thyroids respectively.
Joint Pain and Carpal Tunnel
A chronic joint or muscle pain that follows no physical exertion may be a symptom of a thyroid problem. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one such symptom, whereby a tingling sensation is felt in the arms, wrists, hands and legs. This symptom, though rare, should be treated with physical exercises such as ergonomic movements, as well as anti-inflammatory medications and wrist braces. These joint pains may be mild or severe, whereby people may experience tremors in the hands, along with swelling or stiffness in other parts of the body. The pains can become so intense that they may interfere with one’s normal daily activities and movements.
Skin and Hair Changes
Skin and hair changes are among the primary signs of a thyroid problem. These changes include hair loss, dryness or dullness of the hair, as well as dry, scaly or patchy skin. Balding may occur in both men and women when there is an issue with the thyroid. The thyroid regulates the proper delivery of skin maintaining hormones. For this reason, the skin is affected. Therefore, a disruption of these deliveries is a sign of over or under-active thyroids.
In conclusion, it is important for you to check not only these symptoms, but also your family history for a thyroid problem. Problematic glands, and autoimmune disorders that run in the family can often be passed down to future generations. Over or under-active thyroids are known to have a strong genetic impact, present majority of the times in women. However, thyroid problems can affect both genders, especially after the age of 50. It is best to get all these symptoms checked as soon as they become persistent and problematic to avoid a serious thyroid condition.