Often respecting and assessing a thyroid imbalance is not straightforward. This is primarily because many of the symptoms can just as easily be related to something else. As a result, many doctors do not suspect thyroid disease as the root of the symptoms and have problems assessing borderline thyroid imbalances which can cause major problems later on. There is a number of signs you can look for. While having any single sign is not necessarily cause for concern, once you start ___ more than one ___ it might be beneficial to start taking proactive steps to support your thyroid function through supplements, diet, and exercise.
If there is one symptom that can be caused by a seemingly infinite number of causes it is fatigue. You should start paying close attention to your level of fatigue if getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep at night is consistently insufficient. Along the same lines, if you are unable to adequately function throughout a day without a nap, there could be a thyroid imbalance. On the opposite end of the spectrum, hyperthyroidism can cause nighttime insomnia which will leave you exhausted during the day.
2. Unexplained Weight Changes
An important distinction to make is the difference between weight changes and changes in your physical appearance. When looking for a thyroid imbalance, the change in your actual weight is your focal point. The first thing to look for is the inability to lose weight. This is particularly true if you are on a low-fat, low-calorie diet with a complementary exercise program or a diet program specifically geared towards losing weight. Difficulty losing weight can sometimes be an indication of hypothyroidism. On the other end of the spectrum is hyperthyroidism which can make you lose weight while eating the same amount of food, or even eating more food than normal.
3. Unexplained Onset of Depression and Anxiety
Depression or anxiety, especially the sudden onset of a panic disorder, can be linked to thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism is commonly associated with depression and hyperthyroidism is associated with an increase in anxiety and panic attacks. This is particularly important to pay attention to if you have not responded to antidepressants or other medications.
4. Bowel Issues
If you suddenly start to suffer from severe or long-term constipation, you need to consider hypothyroidism as the culprit. In hyperthyroidism, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome are common issues.
5. Muscle and Joint Pains
There is a number of muscle and joint pains which can be symptoms of an undiagnosed thyroid problem. This includes weakness in your arms, carpal tunnel, tarsal tunnel, and plantars fasciitis. While most people go through some level of muscle and joint pain as they age, if the onset is fairly sudden or at a young age then a thyroid imbalance becomes more likely to be the underlying cause.
6. Neck Related Issues
Thyroid enlargement can cause your neck to swell and even make clothing like turtlenecks and neckties uncomfortable. In many cases, the enlarged thyroid can become visible. It can also cause your voice to go hoarse for an extended period of time, although your throat may still feel fine.
As you can see, all of these symptoms can be attributed to a variety of other diseases and imbalances. Noticing a single sign or symptoms isn’t necessarily an indication of a thyroid imbalance. If you start to see several of these symptoms, especially if they appear around the same period of time, then seeking diagnosis and improved thyroid support should become a high priority.