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Understanding Thyroid Problems -- Symptoms

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What Are the Symptoms of Thyroid Problems?

The symptoms of hyperthyroidism, in which the body produces too many thyroid hormones, may include:

  • Weight loss, despite increased appetite
  • Increased heart rate, heart palpitations, higher blood pressure, nervousness, and excessive perspiration
  • More frequent bowel movements, sometimes with diarrhea
  • Muscle weakness, trembling hands
  • Development of a goiter (an enlargement in your neck)
  • Lighter or shorter menstrual periods

The symptoms of hypothyroidism, in which the body doesn't produce enough thyroid hormones, may include:

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  • Lethargy, slower mental processes or depression
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands
  • Development of a goiter (an enlargement in your neck)
  • Constipation, heavy menstrual periods, or dry skin and hair

Subacute thyroiditis:

  • Mild to severe pain in the thyroid gland
  • The thyroid feels tender to the touch
  • Pain or discomfort when swallowing or turning your head
  • Appearance of these symptoms shortly after a viral infection, such as the flu, mumps, or measles

 

Call Your Doctor About Thyroid Problems If:

  • You have any of the symptoms listed above.

Call 911 or seek emergency medical care if:

  • You are feverish, agitated, or delirious, and have a rapid pulse; you could be having a thyrotoxic crisis, a sudden and dangerous complication of hyperthyroidism.
  • You feel intensely cold, drowsy and lethargic; you could be experiencing a myxedema coma, a sudden and dangerous complication of hypothyroidism that can cause unconsciousness and possibly death.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 26, 2014

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