Every human has a small butterfly-shaped gland near the center of the neck. It’s your thyroid gland and while it may be small, it’s powerful. Think Muhammed Ali powerful because it’s in charge of not only your metabolism but making hormones.
It controls the functioning of multiple vital organs and when it doesn’t function properly, the body can suffer tremendously. Thyroid problems are more common than you would think and can cause physical, emotional and hormonal changes.
- You find it hard to think straight. If you’re finding yourself unable to chalk it up to age, lack of sleep or stress overload, and are finding it hard to concentrate it may be your thyroid. Irregularities can cause brain fog and periods of forgetfulness so check with your doctor and you’ll be amazed at how clearly you’ll be able to think again!
- You’re almost always tired. Fatigue is a symptom of a variety of health issues, however if you’re constantly tired and have tried everything but find nothing is working, you should go see your doctor. Caffeine pills are not recommended.
- Your taste buds are off. If things are tasting strange or smelling strange, if your appetite is affected you should see a doctor to confirm your diagnosis and rule out any other possible health concerns.
- You’re experiencing muscle and joint pain. Underactive thyroid glands can cause pain and muscle weakness, cramping and stiffness, while hyperthyroidism will have you experiencing feelings of fatigue and muscle weakness to the point where you will find yourself unable to climb stairs.
- You’re gaining or losing weight. The number one reason people go to see the doctor about their thyroid gland. However, any unexplained weight change should always be checked out by a doctor to rule out any serious health problems.
- Women: You’re having menstrual problems. Most women with thyroid problems do and sometimes it can cause early or delayed menstruation. It can cause prolonged, painful and more frequent periods, and has been linked to infertility problems. Before diagnosing yourself, you should consult with your gynecologist.
- Your skin is really dry. Unsurprisingly, the moisture of your skin is controlled by the thyroid gland. When hormone levels are low, your skin pales in colour and become dry.
- You’re not that interested in sex. Having little or no interest in sex is sometimes caused due to an underactive thyroid as it puts out very little of the hormones that put you in the mood. If you find sex just isn’t your scene and you’re struggling to understand why, you should consult your doctor.
- You’re losing your hair. If there’s no reasonable explanation for it and hair, including the ones from your eyebrows and other body parts, it may be because your hair is becoming thin, brittle or dry. Your scalp can also become dry or itchy, so you should consult your doctor.
- You’re hot, but only when you’re not cold. This is a classic symptom because the body’s ability to regulate your body temperature is interrupted. Cold hands and feet or feeling hot even when you have a fan blowing on you are signs of hyperthyroidism.
According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, millions of people suffer with thyroid problems because most symptoms are misdiagnosed or go unnoticed all together. While the symptoms can vary, if you’ve been suffering and your doctor can’t seem to find the answer, you should consider asking your physician for a test.