The Silent Signs of a Thyroid Disorder

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

The thyroid is a gland that sits in the esophagus. This butterfly-shaped gland secretes important hormones that affect a person’s mood, metabolic rate, and mental state. Studies show that at least 30 million Americans suffer from a thyroid disorder, 15 million of which are oblivious to their condition. In today’s post, we are listing down telltale signs of a thyroid disorder:

Unexplained Sleep Changes

Sudden and unexplained sleep changes are one of the hallmarks of thyroid disorder. An overactive thyroid could cause disturbed sleep. When the thyroid gland secretes excessive hormones such as triiodothyronine and thyroxine, the central nervous system becomes too stimulated at night. This leads to insomnia.

Conversely, if you’ve always been unable to sleep better at night and you’re suddenly getting more sleep than normal, it could be a sign of an underactive thyroid. This condition occurs when the thyroid is unable to pump more triiodothyronine and thyroxine to stimulate the central nervous system, leading to daytime sleepiness and sluggishness.

Sudden Anxiety Symptoms

If you never struggled with anxiety before and you are starting to feel unsettled, agitated, or jittery, this can be a sign of an overactive thyroid. When the thyroid is producing excessive hormones, the central nervous system becomes overly stimulated. And when this happens, you will start feeling jittery, anxious, and agitated. While brain stimulation is essential, too much of it can leave you feeling jumpy, restless and edgy.

Irregular Bowel Movement

Persistent constipation is a sign of an underactive thyroid. The thyroid hormones play a critical role in regulating your gastrointestinal tract. If your thyroid is not secreting enough hormones, you will start experiencing irregular bowel movement, which leads to constipation.

The opposite happens if the thyroid is secreting excessive hormones. You won’t suffer from diarrhea from having an overactive hormone but you will go more frequently than normal.

Thinning Hair

Although thinning hair is associated with extreme stress, it can be a sign of a thyroid disorder too. This goes especially if your eyebrows are starting to thin out! A thyroid problem affects the hair’s growth cycle, causing hair loss in various parts of the body. When the level of hormones in the body is not balanced, the hair grows slower, giving the impression of thinner hair.

Profuse Sweating

Do you sweat buckets with the littlest of effort? Sounds like your thyroid gland is secreting more hormones than the body needs. Thyroid hormones regulate the body’s energy production. These hormones also increase or decrease the body’s metabolic rate. Abnormal sweating even if it is not hot or if you are hardly moving is a clear sign of a thyroid disorder.

Brain Fog

The hormones secreted by the thyroid stimulate the central nervous system. This system includes the brain. If the thyroid hormones are not enough to stimulate the brain, you will experience mental fatigue or brain fog. Mental fatigue causes forgetfulness, slow thought processing, and lack of concentration. The opposite happens when you have an overactive hormone, thoughts whizz past your brain so fast, your senses are overwhelmed.