Your thyroid gland is an endocrine gland located in your neck. This gland plays a crucial role in the body by producing the hormones T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine). These hormones in turn are responsible for helping to regulate the metabolism, thereby allowing us to get more energy from food and to burn fat at the correct rate.
Actually though, thyroid hormones do a lot more than this and also play critical roles in breathing, heart rate, menstrual cycles, cholesterol levels, muscle strength and much more.
Unfortunately, thyroid problems are relatively common and can cause a range of unwanted symptoms related to these functions. An ‘overactive’ thyroid (hyperthyroidism) for instance can produce too much T3 and T4, thereby ramping the metabolism up and causing anxiety, weight loss, hair loss, sweating and more. Conversely, an ‘underactive’ thyroid can result in trouble sleeping, fatigue, depression, weight gain, heavy periods and more.
The good news is that while thyroid problems can’t be cured, they can be effectively managed. With the right balance of T3 and T4, a doctor can help their patient to achieve a normal weight and live with relatively normal energy levels. For these reasons, it is very important to ensure that you see a doctor as soon as possible in order to identify whether you may in fact have a thyroid problem and to begin treatment. In this post, we will examine some of the most common symptoms and help you to ascertain whether thyroid issues are to blame in your specific case.
1. Weight Gain
One of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism is weight gain. As the body produces less of the necessary thyroid glands to stimulate the metabolism, it then goes into a kind of ‘slow motion’, burning less fat for fuel.
The result is that you might experience weight gain, even as you try and shed pounds. Now of course, this can be a symptom of many different issues and it would be premature to instantly assume that thyroid issues were the cause. However, if you notice this in conjunction with other issues on this list, you should consider speaking to a doctor.