Silent Thy­roid Symp­toms

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Front Page - BY ALYSSA JUNG

THE THY­ROID, A BUT­TER­FLY-shaped gland in the neck, pro­duces hor­mones es­sen­tial for me­tab­o­lism and brain ac­tiv­ity. Symp­toms of a thy­roid prob­lem are of­ten vague, but if you no­tice any of the fol­low­ing signs or have more than one, see your doc­tor for a sim­ple blood test to gauge your hor­mone lev­els.

The symp­toms of an over­ac­tive thy­roid and an un­der­ac­tive thy­roid are both eas­ily treated.

1 SLEEP CHANGES

If you’ve al­ways been a good sleeper but sud­denly can’t snooze through the night, it could sig­nal a thy­roid prob­lem. An over­ac­tive thy­roid pumps out cer­tain

hor­mones (tri­iodothy­ro­nine, known as T3, and thy­rox­ine, known as T4) in ex­cess, which can over­stim­u­late the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem and lead to in­som­nia, says Dr Hos­sein Gharib, a Mayo Clinic en­docri­nol­o­gist.

On the flip side, if you still feel tired af­ter a full night’s sleep (or need to sleep more than usual), you might have an un­der­ac­tive thy­roid, in which your body doesn’t pro­duce

enough hor­mones.

2 SUD­DEN ANX­I­ETY

If you’ve never strug­gled with anx­i­ety but start to feel con­sis­tently anx­ious, your thy­roid might be over­ac­tive. Too many thy­roid

hor­mones of­ten cause pa­tients to feel anx­ious un­re­lated to any­thing spe­cific, says Dr Ashita Gupta, an en­docri­nol­o­gist.

3 CHANGES IN BOWEL HABITS

Fre­quent con­sti­pa­tion could be an un­der­ac­tive thy­roid symp­tom. “Thy­roid hor­mones also play a role in keep­ing your di­ges­tive track run­ning,” says Gupta. “If you pro­duce too lit­tle, things get backed up.” An over­ac­tive thy­roid can cre­ate the op­po­site ef­fect.

4 THIN­NING HAIR

An­other thy­roid symp­tom is thin­ning hair, par­tic­u­larly on your eye­brows. An un­der­ac­tive or over­ac­tive thy­roid throws off your hair growth cy­cle, says Gupta. Usu­ally, most of your hair grows while a small por­tion rests. When thy­roid hor­mones are im­bal­anced, too much hair rests at one time, which means hair looks thin­ner.

5 SWEAT­ING AT RAN­DOM TIMES

Ex­ces­sive sweat­ing when you’re not ex­ert­ing your­self is a com­mon sign of an over­ac­tive thy­roid. The thy­roid reg­u­lates the body’s en­ergy pro­duc­tion. Higher-thannor­mal hor­mone lev­els mean your me­tab­o­lism is revved up, which causes peo­ple to feel overly warm.

6 UN­USUAL WEIGHT GAIN

If your jeans feel snug but you haven’t changed your eat­ing or ex­er­cise habits, an un­der­ac­tive thy­roid might be to blame. “Lack of hor­mones de­creases me­tab­o­lism and kilo­joule burn­ing, so you may see grad­ual but un­ex­plained weight gain,” says Gharib.

7 FEEL­ING RAV­EN­OUS BUT NOT GAIN­ING WEIGHT

On the other hand, if you’re sud­denly able to squeeze into smaller-size clothes that haven’t fit­ted into in years – with­out a ma­jor change to your diet or work­out reg­i­men – you may have an over­ac­tive thy­roid, which causes an in­crease in me­tab­o­lism.

8 BRAIN FOG

With an un­der­ac­tive thy­roid, some peo­ple re­port feel­ing a ‘brain fog’, says Gupta. Oth­ers re­port sub­tle mem­ory loss or over­all men­tal fa­tigue. An over­ac­tive thy­roid can make it dif­fi­cult to con­cen­trate.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.