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Thyroid health

Do you have symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Reviewed by Dr. Mary James, ND

Do you think you might have an underactive thyroid?

The fact is, while thyroid issues are much more common in women, many — if not most — still remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Here’s why:

  • Symptoms of hypothyroidism can be mistaken for the similar symptoms of sex hormone imbalance.
  • Women with mild and moderate symptoms may suffer from subclinical hypothyroidism, which means that even though they experience symptoms of low thyroid, their levels of thyroid hormone still register in the “normal” range.

If you’re not feeling quite right, it’s worth taking a closer look at the symptom list below. Because once you know you’re suffering from an underactive thyroid, you can take natural steps — including herbal remedies, supplements, and diet and lifestyle changes found in our Thyroid Health Package — to restore your thyroid and feel better.

Hypothyroid symptoms

  • severe, day-long fatigue, loss of energy
  • everything feels sluggish (thinking, memory, movement, speech)
  • unexplained weight gain, difficulty losing weight
  • depressed mood, apathy
  • joint and muscle pain, morning stiffness, headaches
  • dry skin, rough skin at elbows, brittle nails, yellowing of palms and soles
  • brittle hair, thinning of hair and/or eyebrows, itchy scalp
  • heavy or irregular periods, menstrual cramps, PMS symptoms
  • difficulty tolerating cold, lower body temperature
  • constipation
  • sleeping more than average, but waking unrefreshed
  • diminished sex drive
  • puffiness in face (especially around eyes) and extremities
  • memory loss, fuzzy thinking, difficulty following conversation or train of thought
  • slowness or slurring of speech
  • hoarseness
  • elevated levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol)
  • tingling sensation in wrists and hands that mimics carpal tunnel syndrome
  • coordination or balance problems
  • unexplained breast milk formation
  • bruising/clotting problems
  • allergies that suddenly appear or get worse
  • persistent cold sores, boils, or breakouts
  • appearance of a goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid that is externally visible

By understanding the symptoms of hypothyroidism, women may identify issues earlier, seek a healthcare provider, and find relief. If left untreated, symptoms may worsen over time.

Other thyroid issues

One form of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease, where the body forms antibodies to its own thyroid gland cells, resulting in inflammation and possibly permanent low thyroid function. Another condition is hyperthyroidism, which is an overactive thyroid. For more information, please see our page on hyperthyroidism.

If you suffer from several or more of the above symptoms and are worried that you might have a thyroid problem, your next best step would be to visit your healthcare provider to get evaluated and discuss your options. You may also find it useful to read our article on thyroid testing beforehand, to help you formulate good questions to ask your provider.

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Last Modified Date: 01/10/2014