What Are The Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition where thyroid gland do not produce enough thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). Women are at greater risk of developing hypothyroidism, especially elderly women of above 60 years of age. Thyroid hormones are responsible for various chemical reactions and metabolism of foods and lack of these hormones leads to imbalance of chemical reactions in the body.

Initially hypothyroidism generally do not produce any symptom. However, if left untreated it may lead to various conditions such as infertility, anemia, heart diseases, obesity, joint pains and many more problems. Hypothyroidism is easily manageable and you can lead a normal life if you take thyroid hormone supplements regularly at the right dose.

Signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism:

The symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism vary according to severity of thyroid hormone deficiency. Initially hypothyroidism do not produce any symptoms and you may not be aware that you are suffering from hypothyroidism and symptoms may be vague and it may take years before hypothyroidism is diagnosed.

The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism are:

  • Fatigue
  • Generalized weakness
  • Feeling of cold, even during summer season and may need blanket during summer
  • Dryness of skin
  • Constipation
  • Puffiness of face
  • Weight gain for no reason or unexplained
  • Joint pain, stiffness or swelling of joints
  • Loss of hair
  • Muscle weakness
  • Menstrual problems among women
  • Slower heart rate
  • Depression, memory impairment (forgetfulness), slower thinking process
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Goiter or enlargement of thyroid gland on long standing cases of hypothyroidism
  • High sensitivity to cold

Hypothyroidism, if left untreated, the signs and symptoms become gradually more severe. Due to reduced level of thyroid hormones, it constantly stimulate the thyroid gland, which in turn get enlarged (known as goiter). Untreated cases of hypothyroidism may lead to development of a serious medical condition known as myxedema, which is rare but life threatening. In myxedema patient may even develop coma and death may ensue.

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