Here’s a quick checklist of the symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
Hypothyroidism is the state of too little thyroid hormone in the blood. Constituting 88% of all Thyroid illness, women are at 10 times higher risk than men. Smoking and eating disorders increase the risk for hypothyroidism.
- Sleepiness, fatigue, lethargy
- Loss of memory, trouble concentrating
- Unusually dry, coarse skin
- Goitre (enlarged thyroid)
- Gradual personality change, depression, moodiness, irritability
- Increase in weight, bloating or puffiness (oedema), elevated cholesterol levels
- Sensitivity to cold
- Hair loss, sparseness of hair
Other symptoms like menstrual irregularities, constipation, muscle weakness or cramps, persistent dry or sore throat, and feeling tired all the time are non-specific and thus many individuals remain undiagnosed.
Left untreated, the condition has profound complications like infertility, obesity, chronic fatigue, anaemia, diminished cardiovascular fitness, increased risk for heart failure, and metal disturbances that can be debilitating.
Hyperthyroidism is any condition with too much thyroid hormone in the body, and an overactive thyroid gland. Commonest in the age group of 20 – 40 years, it has an 8 times higher risk of occurrence in women.
- Overly thin hair and brittle nails
- Very frequent bowel movements
- Eye bulging, unblinking stare
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Weight loss
- Heat intolerance
- Ebbed (decreased) sex drive
- Lack of sleep
- Menstrual irregularities, light periods, delayed puberty
- Increased sweating, warm and moist palms
- Nervousness, irritability, problems in thinking, mood swings, anger fits, tremors
- Goitre (Neck swelling)
Long-term complications include heart problems, osteoporosis and bone fractures, risk of miscarriage, poor growth of the baby in the womb, premature labour and delivery, and thyroid storm (a dangerous rise in hormone levels).
Despite the symptoms being varied, both these conditions can easily be diagnosed by a blood test to check the level of thyroid hormones in your blood. Regular physical examinations can also help to detect typical signs as soon as they appear.