Could It Be…Thyroid Disease?

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A woman sitting in her home office and rubbing her templesAlways cold or hot? Heart racing a mile a minute? Whether underactive or overactive, thyroid disease symptoms can make your body feel out of whack. Knowing the symptoms can help your doctor diagnose the problem and get you feeling better fast. Do you know what to look for?

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It’s estimated that 59 million Americans have a thyroid problem, but the majority don’t even know it yet. The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck, is the master gland of metabolism. When your thyroid doesn’t function, it can affect every aspect of your health, and in particular, weight, depression and energy levels.

Since undiagnosed thyroid problems can dramatically increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, depression, anxiety, hair loss, sexual dysfunction, infertility and a host of other symptoms and health problems, it’s important that you don’t go undiagnosed.

You don’t need to have all of these symptoms in order to have a thyroid problem, but here are some of the most common signs that you may have a thyroid condition:

1. Muscle and Joint Pains, Carpal Tunnel/Tendonitis Problems.

Aches and pains in your muscles and joints, weakness in the arms and a tendency to develop carpal tunnel in the arms/hands and tarsal tunnel in the legs, can all be symptoms of undiagnosed thyroid problems.

2. Neck Discomfort/Enlargement.

A feeling of swelling in the neck, discomfort with turtlenecks or neckties, a hoarse voice or a visibly enlarged thyroid can all be symptoms of thyroid disease.

3. Hair/Skin Changes.

Hair and skin are particularly vulnerable to thyroid conditions, and in particular, hair loss is frequently associated with thyroid problems. With hypothyroidism, hair frequently becomes brittle, coarse and dry, while breaking off and falling out easily. Skin can become coarse, thick, dry, and scaly. In hypothyroidism, there is often an unusual loss of hair in the outer edge of the eyebrow. With hyperthyroidism, severe hair loss can also occur, and skin can become fragile and thin.

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