Did you know that about 20 million Americans have a thyroid problem—with women suffering five to eight times more frequently than men? This important gland helps your body work correctly, coordinating important cell functions, including metabolism, growth, breathing, and heart rate.
At OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare, board-certified physician Steven Chen, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating thyroid problems of all kinds for patients in the San Diego, Encinitas, and Temecula, California, areas.
The most common thyroid problems are hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Depending on the nature of your condition, Dr. Chen may recommend medications or surgery.
Since up to 60% of adults with thyroid disease don’t know they have anything to worry about, we’ve created this guide, giving you five telltale signs of a thyroid problem. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about the signs of thyroid disease.
Unexplained weight gain or loss is a telltale sign of a thyroid problem. If you’re gaining weight but don’t know why, it could be a signal of low thyroid function. This is because an underactive thyroid means you don’t have the energy needed to burn the calories and maintain a healthy weight.
Some people with thyroid problems also lose weight without trying. This could signal an overactive thyroid, which pushes you to metabolize energy too quickly. Make an appointment with your OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare provider if you have any unexplained weight changes.
Have you noticed you’re more tired than usual? Or is your heart racing and you feel like you have extra energy? It could be a problem with your thyroid gland.
Your thyroid controls many functions, including your blood pressure and heart rate. When your thyroid is overactive, it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure and give you the sense that you’re full of energy.
On the other hand, if your blood pressure and heart rate drop and run too low because of an underactive thyroid, you can feel extremely tired. This may also make it hard to get up in the morning or stay awake throughout the day.
Everyone loses some hair each day. On average, people lose about 100 hairs every day. But if something isn’t quite right with your thyroid, you might lose more hair than you should.
In fact, hair loss is a telltale symptom of thyroid disease. To understand why, it’s necessary to understand that your hair grows in a cycle that includes a:
Research shows that when you have a thyroid problem, too many hairs stay in the resting/shedding phase. At the same time, too few enter the growth phase. The result? More shedding than normal, patchy hair loss, and even balding.
Issues with your thyroid can make you more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. You may feel like you’re cold all the time — even when everyone else feels warm. This sign of an underactive thyroid results because of a slower-than-normal metabolism.
People with an overactive thyroid, on the other hand, may feel hot all the time or have “heat intolerance.” This means having an unusual sensitivity to warm temperatures. This results from your metabolism running in overdrive.
Do you have a lump at the front of your neck? It could be a goiter, which appears when your thyroid gland swells and enlarges. Even if you can’t see the lump, swelling in your thyroid can trigger issues with breathing, swallowing, coughing, snoring, and losing your voice.
Some of the thyroid problems that can cause a goiter or other throat-related symptoms include:
For more information about thyroid disease and other problems related to this important gland, schedule an appointment with Dr. Chen at OasisMD Lifestyle Healthcare in San Diego, Temecula, or Encinitas, California.