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7 Symptoms of Thyroid Disorder That Could Make the Body Behave Strangely
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7 Symptoms of Thyroid Disorder That Could Make the Body Behave Strangely

These symptoms may be mistaken as normal effects of external factors, but it could be an indication of something worse like a thyroid disorder.

The thyroid is the tiny butterfly-shaped gland in front of your neck that manages functions like metabolism, body temperature, menstrual cycles and it also regulates other bodily functions. When all these functions are working smoothly, your thyroid is fine. But if you have an excess of the hormone (hyperthyroidism) or a lack of it (hypothyroidism), it can cause drastic changes in your body.

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Since a lot of the symptoms mirror those of other diseases, it can be hard to diagnose the condition. "Symptoms vary from person to person and can come on suddenly or very gradually, so they're hard to detect," says Dr. Valentina Rodriguez, an endocrinologist at NYU Langone Health. Women are 5-8 times more likely to suffer a thyroid problem as stated by the American Thyroid Association.

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Here are some of the signs that you need to watch out for. It's essential to take immediate action if you experience these symptoms.

1. Your neck is swollen

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Considering the gland is located in your neck, it's no surprise that the first symptom will be noticed there. If you find that your neck is unnaturally swollen, it could be caused by goiter. It is another term for an abnormally enlarged thyroid gland, as described by the Mayo Clinic. It also mentions that a lack of iodine in the diet is one of the most common causes of suffering from the condition. Consult a doctor immediately if you have swelling in the front of your neck, where the gland is located.

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2. You have dry and puffy eyes

In both types of thyroid disease, dry and irritated eyes are a symptom. However, if your eyes look super puffy and look like they're bulging out, it could be a sign of Graves' disease. It's classified by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) as an autoimmune disorder that leads to hyperthyroidism. It causes retracted eyelids which means that the eyelids are pulled back from the causing the bulging look. Graves' disease can also cause double vision and swelling around the eyes.

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3. There is swelling in your legs and ankles

Hypothyroidism can cause your body's ability to function to reduce. With the lack of thyroid hormone, your body temperature starts to come down which leads to the water retention in your body. It generally manifests in the lower part of your body and this can cause your hips, knees, ankles, and feet to swell up. According to Thyromate, this water retention can also cause lower energy levels even after getting the right amount of sleep.

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4. Your hair is starting to thin out

While thinning hair can be the effect of many health conditions or external factors, both thyroid conditions can cause it to thin. It's not just the hair on your head but even your eyebrows can face the effect of the disease. Dr. Eve Feinberg, assistant professor of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Northwestern University School of Medicine says, "Eyebrows that thin along the outer edges can be a sign of hypothyroidism."

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The British Thyroid Foundation states that the hair loss caused by the disease will only become obvious after several months because of the long hair cycle.  

5. Your weight is severely fluctuating

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Metabolism is one of the functions that the thyroid gland controls so if something goes wrong with the hormone, your body can experience a severe change in weight. In the case of hypothyroidism, your weight can increase. In hyperthyroidism, the opposite will happen and you will lose an unhealthy amount of weight.

Many women may see the weight loss as a great thing but losing it in such a way can put a strain on your already affected body. Not to mention, if the condition is untreated, it can even harm your organs, "especially the heart," Valentina Rodiguez says.

6. Your mood is constantly low

Mood fluctuation is one of the symptoms of a thyroid problem. Hypothyroidism may lead to a lack of concentration or even depression. Hyperthyroidism can cause anxiety as mentioned by Dr. Sona Shah, an endocrinologist at NYU Langone Health. Since both disorders can have a negative effect on your mental and emotional state, mental health treatment may be required as you undergo thyroid treatment.

"...the emotions you experience with hypothyroidism likely depend in part on how long you’ve had the condition and how severe it is", says Dr. Tamara Wexler, Ph.D., an endocrinologist at NYU Langone Health in New York City.

7. You feel a lack of strength in your muscles

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Both of the thyroid conditions can make you experience weak muscles. Your muscles will feel achy, stiff, and excessive cramping while most of the weakness you feel will be in the muscles closer to the center of the body like the thighs and shoulders. These symptoms develop over time and are slow in becoming noticeable. But when most people feel them, they brush it off as typical pain that arises from age. But if you feel that your muscles feel off and that simple tasks have become harder to do, consult a doctor and get a thyroid check-up done.

References:

https://www.uclahealth.org/valentina-rodriguez

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperthyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20373659

https://www.everydayhealth.com/hypothyroidism/guide/

https://www.thyroid.org/media-main/press-room/

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/graves-disease

https://www.thyromate.com/blog/hypothyroidism-and-water-retention

http://www.btf-thyroid.org/information/109-hair-loss-and-thyroid-disorders

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/goiter/symptoms-causes/syc-20351829

https://nyulangone.org/doctors/1538487327/sona-shah

https://med.nyu.edu/faculty/tamara-wexler

https://www.verywellhealth.com/muscle-and-joint-pain-with-thyroid-disease-3231813

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.