Courtesy of Cy-Fair Hospital
Your thyroid is a small—but very important—gland at the base of the throat. When there’s a problem with this gland, it can affect many different organs and their functions. For example, when it produces too much hormone, it can cause the heart to beat too fast or irregularly.
“Some little-known signs of an underactive thyroid—called hypothyroidism—include depression, difficulty hearing, and anxiety,” says Rakesh Patel, D.O., an endocrinologist on staff at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital. “Unexplained weight gain, muscle and joint pain, constipation, dry skin, and intolerance to cold also can be signs of this disorder.” Other potential symptoms include brittle fingernails, dry skin, and thinning hair.
Dr. Patel adds, “In contrast, hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, can lead to nervousness and irritability, difficulty sleeping, and frequent bowel movements or diarrhea.” Other signs may include unplanned weight loss, heat intolerance, bulging eyes, shaking, increased sweating, and fingernail ridges or thickening of the nails.
Some symptoms common to both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are fatigue, muscle weakness, a sore or hoarse throat, and difficulty swallowing.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a thyroid problem, make an appointment with your doctor right away. If you need to find a physician who can help you, call Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital for a complimentary referral: 877-763-9467. Or look online at CyFairHospital.com/FindaPhysician.