Among all hormonal problems, thyroid diseases are the most common. If you have noticed symptoms like weight loss, feeling tired or nervous, chances are you might have a thyroid imbalance.
It may lead to three conditions.
Excessive production of the thyroid hormone is called hyperthyroidism. When the thyroid gland produces more thyroid hormone than the body needs, it causes increased metabolism.
Decreased production of the thyroid hormone is called hypothyroidism. Unlike hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism means that less thyroid hormone is produced leading to reduced metabolism.
This causes slowing down of bodily functions like heart and brain function, energy level and calorie burn.
Generalized swelling of the thyroid gland is called goitre and is the most common thyroid problem. Goitre is visible as swelling in the neck.
Underactive thyroid is more common than overactive thyroid and is seen more in women than in men.
Major signs of thyroid imbalance in women include:
Many of the patients who are low in thyroid don’t have their cycle and they can lose their cycle for months before the cycle comes back.
This is a very common phenomenon also in women who have high thyroid as they experience light periods or skipped periods.
By treating the thyroid, you can have the cycle come back after two or three months.
Changes in Body Temperature
Hypothyroid patients have an increased sensitivity to cold.
This is because when your thyroid is low, there’s less blood flow to the cells and you get a feeling of coldness in the body.
Common complaints are feeling warm or excessive sweating due to the increased body metabolism.
Fluctuations in Body Weight
Weight gain is common among patients with hypothyroidism because of reduced metabolism.
Women with hyperthyroidism experience weight loss symptoms as the body processes work much faster.
Make sure your thyroid doctor confirms the thyroid problem as these may be general symptoms that anyone could have.
Thyroid imbalance may lead to heart problems in women. You may experience heart palpitations known as premature ventricular contractions (PVC s).
You may have an irregular heartbeat where sometimes it’s only one contraction and other times it may feel like the heart is fluttering like a butterfly.
Increased heart rate is a common symptom of hyperthyroidism.
Dry Skin and Hair
The dry skin can occur in patches or throughout the entire body.
Thyroid imbalance in women may lead to hair loss from the scalp or from the eyebrows. It could also just manifest as thinning of the hair with minimal or no hair loss.
Thyroid problems may cause you to have psychological complaints like fear, irritability, and anxiety.
You may find that at most times you are moody. Hypothyroidism can lead to having depressed feelings. Many patients with depression are low in thyroid, particularly a type of thyroid hormone called t3 which is the active form.
You may also experience poor concentration, specifically brain fog where you have very poor short-term memory.
You can forget things like where you left your keys or where you park your car and this is a very common sign.
Get Your Thyroid Imbalance Under Control
There are many other signs of thyroid problems like fatigue, loss of strength, high cholesterol, bowel problems and joint pain. However, all symptoms usually do not all occur at the same time.
The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves disease whereas hypothyroidism can result from treatment of hyperactive thyroid. A common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease
Thyroid problems can be diagnosed with blood tests and sometimes using a thyroid scan or a puncture.
Treatment of thyroid imbalance is by taking thyroid hormone pills or medication to regulate the production of the hormone.
Another option is treatment with radioactive iodine to stop the function of thyroid cells and at other times you may opt for surgery.