Thyroid Disorders: Symptoms You Shouldn’t Neglect

Date July 4, 2018

The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland in the neck below the larynx. This gland is responsible for the production of 3 major hormones (triiodothyronine, thyroxine, and calcitonin) that perform many functions, such as regulation of the metabolic rate and energy metabolism, control of growth and tissue development processes, regulation of blood calcium levels and bones build–up. Thyroid disorders can be accompanied by either a decrease in its function (hypothyroidism) or an increase (hyperthyroidism). Let's look at the most characteristic features of these conditions.

Kateryna Kon /


Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of hormones. Although it can occur in any age, women after 60 are more likely to develop this condition. Hypothyroidism upsets the normal balance of chemical reactions in your body. If left untreated, it can cause obesity, a joint function disorder, heart diseases, and infertility.

Main causes of hypothyroidism:

  • autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's thyroiditis);
  • a treatment for hyperthyroidism;
  • thyroid surgeries;
  • a radiation therapy;
  • some medications (lithium).

Less often, hypothyroidism may result from pituitary gland or hypothalamus disorders (which produce thyroid-stimulating hormone), a lack of iodine in a diet, and during pregnancy. In some cases, the disorder can be a result of a birth defect, so now, newborns undergo screening examination for hypothyroidism.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism:

  • fatigue;
  • dry skin;
  • weight gain;
  • swelling;
  • slower heart rate;
  • muscle weakness;
  • increased blood cholesterol level;
  • increased sensitivity to cold;
  • menstrual disorders.

Hypothyroidism in infants can lead to severe physical and intellectual disabilities.

READ ALSO: 12 Signs Of Hormonal Imbalance That Many Women Ignore


Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid produces too much hormones. This condition usually develops between the ages of 20 and 50. If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to a range of severe complications, such as cardiovascular diseases, increased bones fragility, eye problems, and thyrotoxic crisis.

Main causes of hyperthyroidism:

  • Graves' disease (Graves-Basedow disease);
  • toxic adenoma of the thyroid (Plummer's disease);
  • thyroiditis;
  • pituitary adenoma;
  • excessive consumption of iodine;
  • taking antiarrhythmic drug amiodarone.

Genetic predisposition is also an important factor.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism:

  • weight loss;
  • increased heart rate;
  • increased appetite;
  • nervousness, anxiety;
  • tremor;
  • excessive sweating;
  • insomnia;
  • increased sensitivity to heat;
  • menstrual disorders.

If you discover the symptoms above – set an appointment with an endocrinologist. The sooner you discover a thyroid disorder the higher your chances of a full recovery are.

Source: MayoClinic(1), MayoClinic(2)

READ ALSO: 12 Signs Of Hormone Imbalance In Women

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.