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Five Signs of Hypothyroidism You Shouldn't Ignore

Hypothyroidism affects 5 in 100 Americans, but most cases are mild. And because many cases are mild, it’s easy to overlook some of the most common symptoms.

Not to be confused with hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism is characterized by an underactive or slow thyroid. Because your thyroid gland isn’t producing enough hormones, some of your body’s systems may slow down. Hypothyroidism can even affect how your heartbeats. 

At Family First Wellness, Samantha Lindsay, MD, not only diagnoses hypothyroidism, but she also helps you manage the condition.

Signs of an underactive thyroid gland

A thyroid-stimulating hormone test measures your hormone levels, and the results of this test can confirm if you have an underactive thyroid gland. But how do you know when it’s time to consider this test? There are many signs that indicate it’s time to consider talking to Dr. Lindsay about hypothyroidism. 

Fatigue

It’s common to feel exhausted after several nights with little sleep, but chronic fatigue can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Hypothyroidism can cause you to feel exhausted, even if you are logging enough hours of sleep each night. 

Weight gain

Weight gain not related to dietary changes is a common symptom of hypothyroidism. Research shows that people with a slow thyroid gain up to 30 pounds on average during the first year of having hypothyroidism.

Always feeling cold

Almost 40% of men and women with hypothyroidism feel cold, regardless of the temperature. If your thyroid gland slows down, it affects your metabolism. As your basal metabolic rate slows down, your body produces less heat, which is why you’re always reaching for your sweater. 

If you’re always cold but everyone around you is comfortable, don’t brush it off. 

Hair loss

Underactive thyroid glands cause hair follicle growth to slow down too, and that’s why thinning hair is another common sign of hypothyroidism. While you might not notice bald patches, you might notice that your hair just seems thinner than it used to.

Itchy skin

Dry or itchy skin is not uncommon, but if your skin is always dry and itchy, don’t overlook it. Nearly 75% of people with an underactive thyroid complain of dry itchy skin. The reason is the same for why hair thins: slower cellular turnover. Just as the growth of hair follicles slows, skin cell renewal slows down, and that results in dry and itchy skin.

Don’t ignore these symptoms

If you struggle with symptoms, don’t brush them off. The first step in getting relief is getting an accurate diagnosis. Dr. Lindsay and our staff at Family First Wellness suggest a hormone test, and if your thyroid levels are low, we can help you manage the condition. 

To learn more about hypothyroidism or to schedule a thyroid hormone panel, request an appointment by calling our Lutz, Florida, office.

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