Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) Symptoms

Hypothyroidism is one of the diseases of endocrine system. In this disease, the hormonal level of thyroid gland is disturbed. To put in simple words, hypothyroidism is the disease state in humans and animals in which, there is inadequate production of thyroid hormone by thyroid gland.

Hypothyroidism (Underactive thyroid) is often remains undetected due to its sluggish progress. There are various techniques which confirm the disease in an individual. The severity of hypothyroidism varies widely and hence it is called as ‘great imitator’ for its huge number of conditions it reflects in a person.

In adults, hypothyroidism is associated with slow speech and hoarseness of voice with breaking voice many times. There are other symptoms like memory impairment and impaired cognitive function which is also known as brain fog. The person may also have Urticaria and Migraine headache.

There could be increased sensitivity to heat and cold. In the cardiac symptoms it may include slow heart rate with ECG changes associated with diminished cardiac output and decreased contractility. Some of the cases may turn to some serious problem like pericardial effusion.

Weight gain is one of the most common factor in hypothyroidism. There could be sluggish reflexes and laziness in doing works. Another common symptom includes dry and puffy skin especially on the face. The face may also turn into pale color. There could be hair loss and outer third of the eyebrows could be lost or become thinner. If there is advanced hypothyroidism, you may find the swelling of neck which is very commonly visible even from far.

Insufficient production of thyroid hormones often lead to impaired hemoglobin synthesis and impaired intestinal iron and folate absorption. This will lead to anemia. There could also be pernicious anemia due to Vitamin B12 deficiency. Once the anemia catches a person, the immunity goes down and the patient feels extreme weakness. The sufferer is caught very easily by other minor diseases.

Since the thyroid hormones deal with metabolism of the entire body, there will be downfall in the metabolism if the person is affected by hypothyroidism. Constipation and physical fatigue is common in the result of that. Some times there will be difficulty in digestion with either loose motions or constipation.

Other miscellaneous symptoms include, choking sensation and difficulty in swallowing. Breathlessness and due to it – Hypercapnia (excessive carbon dioxide in the blood) and hypoxia (decreased oxygen level in blood) are not so uncommon in hypothyroidism.

In musculo-skeletal system, there will be muscle cramps and joint pain. Brittle fingernails are very commonly seen in patient with hypothyroidism. If left untreated, this condition may lead to Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, in which there will be decreases bone mineral density and the bone becomes easy to be fracturized.

In women, there will be abnormal menstrual cycles especially menorrhagia. The back ache and loss of sensation at toes and fingers are commonly seen. They may also feel decreased libido and inattentiveness.

If hypothyroidism is detected in the children, along with other symptoms of the disease, they also present with an additional symptoms like short stature and mental retardation.


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