10 Little Known Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Here are 10 little known hypothyroidism symptoms, or diagnoses that can be caused by hypothyroidism:
Hypothyroidism is a common cause of fibromyalgia, which is a latin word for muscle pain. Research shows that hypothyroidism is more common than is generally realized, and should be considered as a possible diagnosis in all patients complaining of generalized muscular pain and stiffness (fibromyalgia).(1)
2. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
First of all, chronic fatigue syndrome is not a disease in itself, but rather a name for a collection of symptoms, the primary one being extreme, ongoing fatigue. While there are many causes of fatigue, including the Epstein-Barr virus, Lyme disease, chemotherapy, lack of sleep, and so on, our focus today is on two very common causes that are often overlooked by most traditionally trained doctors.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. If your thyroid gland is making enough thyroid hormones, but those hormones are not properly used at the cellular level, then you can still experience the symptoms of hypothyroidism, referred to as type 2 hypothyroidism. With hypothyroidism, your metabolism slows down and you don’t have the energy you need to function well, and the resulting fatigue is a very common symptom.
Research shows a definite connection between hypothyroidism and depression, and it has been well established that depression is a symptom of low thyroid function. People with depression, anxiety and psychiatric problems often have low levels of thyroid hormone.
Thyroid hormone governs our body’s metabolism and energy production. Without adequate levels of thyroid hormone and its proper utilization, symptoms such as depression, anxiety, mood swings, brain fog and poor concentration become increasingly prevalent.
4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Hypothyroidism causes a slow metabolism which leads to constipation. Constipation is typical gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism prominently decreases the gastroesophageal motility and hence it is recommended to evaluate thyroid functions in admitted patients complaining dyspepsia. The results proved that hypothyroidism reduces esophageal and gastric motor activity. Motility disturbances in hypothyroidism can lead to GI dysfunction. (2)
5. Migraine Headaches
Hypothyroidism causes your metabolism to slow down, which slows your circulation and causes your body to retain water and mucin. The blood vessels and tissues in the brain swell and cause a migraine. Fatigue, which accompanies hypothyroidism, is often associated with migraines and can play an important role in initiating migraine attacks. Research suggests that patients with hypothyroidism have a higher risk of lifetime migraine than controls. (3) Research demonstrated that after levothyroxine treatment, 78% reported a decrease in headache frequency. Hypothyroid patients reported a similar alleviation of their headaches.(4)
Research shows a definite connection between hypothyroidism and anxiety. People with anxiety often have low levels of thyroid hormone.
Hypothyroidism results in a slowdown of cellular metabolism, which causes a drop in levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutric acid (GABA). GABA has a calming effect, which prevents the brain from being overwhelmed by stimulation. Moderately low levels of GABA are linked to anxiety, panic attacks and mood swings. Research demonstrates that anxiety is common in patients with thyroid dysfunction.(5) At the other end of the spectrum, too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) can also bring on anxiety and panic attacks.
7. Muscle and Joint Pain
Hypothyroidism can cause muscle aches and tenderness, and joint pain and stiffness. Hypothyroidism causes muscle and joint pain because fluid retention causes the swelling of muscles, and the swollen muscles press on nerves. Treating with thyroid hormone replacement offers great improvement and often resolves these symptoms.
Hypothyroidism is a common cause of poor sleep and insomnia. Thyroid hormones improve the quality of sleep, allowing you to spend more time in deep phases of sleep. It is also helpful for sleep apnea.
9. Memory Loss
Because the brain uses so much energy, individuals with hypothyroidism (slowed metabolism and less energy) tend to experience a decline in their mental sharpness, or brain fog. It becomes difficult to maintain focus, sharp memory and clarity. Low thyroid function is a common cause of brain fog, difficulty concentrating and short term memory loss.
10. Elevated Cholesterol
Adequate levels of thyroid hormone, especially the active form of the thyroid hormone, T3, are essential for the metabolism of cholesterol. In order for your body to remove excess cholesterol, the liver must be functioning optimally. Your liver converts the extra cholesterol into bile, which then leaves the body through elimination. If adequate amounts of thyroid hormone are not supplied, the liver’s ability to remove cholesterol out of the plasma is compromised. Research shows that hypothyroidism is one of the most common causes of high cholesterol.
Do you have symptoms of hypothyroidism?
Do you have other hypothyroidism symptoms such as weight gain, cold hands and feet, difficulty concentrating, hair loss, dry skin, and menstrual irregularities? This is a clue that low thyroid function could very well be the underlying cause of your symptoms. However, has your doctor told you that your blood work is “normal?” Hypothyroidism is commonly misdiagnosed because of the TSH blood test.
Please note that the TSH blood test is not the most accurate way to diagnose hypothyroidism. While your thyroid gland may be producing enough thyroid hormones so that the TSH blood test falls within the normal range, your cells may not be able to use those hormones efficiently, which is why you could still have symptoms of hypothyroidism.
It is important that you find a doctor who will evaluate your clinical symptoms and history, as well as your basal body temperature. A low body temperature is indicative of hypothyroidism.
Don’t wait – take our symptom checker quiz now to find out if you have symptoms of hypothyroidism. Contact us today for a complimentary wellness consultation at 281-698-8698. It’s time to finally get the health answers you’ve been searching for!
1. Some Muscular Manifestations of Hypothyroidism
2. Link between hypothyroidism and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
3. Prevalence of Migraine in Subclinical Hypothyroidism: A Case-Control Study
4. Headache in Recent Onset Hypothyroidism: Prevalence, Characteristics and Outcome After Treatment with Levothyroxine
5. Prevalence of Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms Among Patients with Hypothyroidism
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