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5 Symptoms That Suggest You May Have a Thyroid Disorder

5 Symptoms That Suggest You May Have a Thyroid Disorder

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland, and, while it’s small in size, it has a big job to do. It produces hormones that control a wide range of functions, including heart rate, metabolism, and breathing. 

Trouble arises when the thyroid produces too much or too little hormone. However, it’s much more common to produce too little (hypothyroidism) than too much (hyperthyroidism). Symptoms easily go unrecognized. They can develop gradually, and you may attribute them to something else. 

If you have symptoms of a thyroid disorder, our team of internal medicine physicians here at Russak Personalized Medicine in Greenwood Village, Colorado, can diagnose and provide treatment to get you feeling better. Read on to learn about five symptoms that may point to thyroid trouble. 

#1: Unexplained weight changes

If you're experiencing unexpected weight gain or loss without any changes to your diet or exercise routine, your thyroid could be the culprit. An underactive thyroid can slow down metabolism, leading to weight gain, while an overactive thyroid can accelerate metabolism, causing weight loss. It’s wise to check in with a doctor anytime you experience significant, unexplained fluctuations in weight.

#2: Fatigue and energy fluctuations

When the thyroid fails to produce enough hormones, energy levels tend to decline. This can lead to feeling tired and unrefreshed, even after getting adequate rest. On the other end of the spectrum, too much thyroid hormone can cause anxiety, jitteriness, and trouble sleeping. In either case, an accurate diagnosis can get you on the right path toward effective treatment. 

#3: Mood swings 

The thyroid's hormonal output is closely linked to mood regulation. Hypothyroidism can lead to low mood, depression, and disinterest, while hyperthyroidism may cause anxiety, restlessness, and irritability. If you’re feeling off-kilter mentally, it's worth considering your thyroid as a potential factor.

#4: Hair and skin changes

Thyroid hormones influence skin health, among other things. When thyroid hormone is too low, you may experience dry skin, brittle and/or thinning hair, and even hair loss. These changes are often gradual but can occur suddenly as well. If you’ve noticed a lot of hair shedding or other issues with your skin and hair, it’s wise to have it looked into.

#5: Abnormal menstrual cycles

For women, changes in menstrual patterns can signal a thyroid issue. Hypothyroidism commonly causes heavy, more frequent periods, while hyperthyroidism can result in lighter or missed periods. Any marked change in your menstrual cycle is a good reason to get a checkup. 

Checking your thyroid levels is a relatively straightforward process. Our team can order the relevant blood work to determine your thyroid levels. If your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormone, your Russak Personalized Medicine provider can get you started on thyroid hormone replacement. In the case of hyperthyroidism, treatment may involve anti-thyroid medications. In some cases, surgery is the most appropriate option. 

With the right treatment plan, you can manage a thyroid disorder and lead a healthy, balanced life. If you recognize any of the symptoms we’ve discussed in this blog, give us a call to schedule a visit with a Russak Family Medicine provider. We offer in-person and telemedicine appointments.

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