In recent years, thyroid issues have become much more talked about as certain celebrities have discussed their own thyroid problems. For example: Rachel Stevens from S Club 7 went public about her experience with thyroid issues during pregnancy and how they provided a risk to her unborn child. Oprah Winfrey famously suffers with thyroid issues, and Hillary Clinton openly discussed her treatment for hypothyroidism. People are much more aware of their thyroid these days and how important it is. TV features, celebrity interviews and general social media chat has provided a much bigger awareness of this small but important gland.
The problem is, there is still so much more that people don’t know about when it comes to their thyroid. General symptoms are listed but, there are some very strange symptoms that you might not know could have a direct link to issues with your thyroid. Understanding the full range of symptoms is important so you can get a diagnosis and treatment for the underlying cause as soon as possible (these could be related to hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism).
First Things First, What Exactly Is The Thyroid And What Does It Do?
The thyroid gland is at the front of the neck and is part of the endocrine system. It creates and holds onto hormones that have influence all over the body.
T3 is created by the thyroid gland and it influences your metabolism, regulating it and keeping it balanced. This has an effect on your energy levels and your weight.
Although the entire body is affected by the thyroid hormones, the main areas affected are the skeleton, the way each cell works in relation to the metabolism and the heart.
The Most Common Thyroid Problems
There are many common thyroid disorders that affect many different parts of the body. The most common is a hormone imbalance where the thyroid makes too much (hyperthyroidism) or too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism).
Other common thyroid issues include but are not limited to:
- Lumps in the thyroid which can be visible but are usually benign
- Goitre – where there is swelling around the thyroid gland. This often occurs as a result of a hormone imbalance but may occur for no distinct reason
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – This is where an autoimmune disease attacks the thyroid gland and causes hypothyroidism symptoms.
- Graves disease – this autoimmune disease causes hypothyroidism symptoms as well as other symptoms.
- Thyroid cancer – in rare instances nodules on the thyroid are cancerous.
Unusual Symptoms That Could Suggest A Thyroid Problem
There are some common symptoms to look out for that are associated with a thyroid problem. These are:
- Cold sensitivity
- Hair loss or thinning
- Voice hoarseness
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle aches
- Mood issues
- Memory issues
There are lots more common thyroid issue symptoms and you can read about the full spectrum of them here.
Along with these common symptoms there are also plenty of uncommon symptoms that are less known about, and less talked about.
So you could have a diagnosed thyroid issue and have no idea that a symptom you have is related. You may have some unusual symptoms that you have ignored with no idea they are related to a thyroid problem. Either way, knowing is understanding and particularly in the case of being undiagnosed, it is so important to see the warning signs and get help.
An undiagnosed thyroid problem (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism) can cause havoc on the body. The sooner it is diagnosed and treated the better.
Here are some of uncommon symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism that you should look out for:
You Don’t Feel Yourself
Those who have suffered from a thyroid issue mention not feeling himself. A distinct feeling of distance from themselves, like they’re just not ‘right’.
The Fatigue Is Different
There is a sense of fatigue that isn’t like being tired or missing a few hours sleep. It isn’t even like being exhausted after a busy week. It is a different type of fatigue where you just can’t seem to find your energy.
Bruises and Nosebleeds
Bruising easily and getting nosebleeds can be a sign of a thyroid issue, particularly if this wasn’t normal for you before.
An Inner Buzz
This is commonly described by those who have experienced signs of an overactive thyroid. A strange inner buzzing or vibration that never really goes away.
Fingernail & Toenail Growth Differences
You may find that your nails don’t grow like they used to, or they stop growing at all.
Dry skin can be associated with a thyroid problem but sometimes this issue can be central to the scalp. You might use endless products to help this health issue but nothing works because the underlying cause is the thyroid. Resources such as Dry Scalp Gone have lots of information and advice on the causes of dry skin and ways to treat common skin complaints.
Feeling Sad Or Depressed
There might be no reason for your blue mood, but it is there and it won’t go away. You might feel a general sense of malaise which is unusual for you.
Restlessness, irritability and anxiety can be caused by thyroid issues.
Thyroid issues can have a knock on effect when it comes to your digestive system. If you have constipation and you can’t seem to shake it, your thyroid could be the culprit.
Be aware of weird thyroid symptoms
It is so important to be aware of all the possible symptoms of a thyroid problem so you can get a diagnosis as soon as possible. The symptoms listed here could be for an underactive or overactive thyroid, they could also be caused by something totally unrelated.
If you have several common and weird thyroid symptoms and you just don’t feel right, get in touch with your GP. According to the British Thyroid Foundation one in twenty people in the UK suffer from a thyroid condition. It is common and you could be suffering without any need. There’s plenty of treatment available for thyroid issues but the very first step is diagnosis.
Anneka is a freelance writer from Nottingham with aspirations to travel the world, laptop in tow. A love of wildlife, scenery and a sense of adventure all blow the wind in the sails of this freelance writer.
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