How to Tell if You Have a Thyroid Disorder

Fertility Issues
If you’ve been trying to have a baby for for quite a while with no luck, an under or over-active thyroid could be a contributing factor. Difficulty conceiving has been linked to a higher risk of thyroid problems. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can interfere with ovulation, which impairs fertility. Thyroid disorders are also linked to pregnancy complications.

Getting Chills or Hot Flashes
Feeling cold or having chills is associated with hypothyroidism, as the system slow-down caused by an under-active thyroid causes less energy to be burned by cells, and less energy equals less heat.

On the other hand, an overactive thyroid puts energy-producing cells into overdrive, which is why people with hyperthyroidism sometimes feel too warm or sweat profusely.

High Cholesterol
High levels of LDL or “Bad” cholesterol that haven’t responded to diet, exercise, or medication have been linked to hypothyroidism, and is a cause for concern. Untreated hypothyroidism can lead to heart problems, including an enlarged heart and heart failure

Lost Interest in Sex
Having little or no desire in sex can be a side effect of a thyroid disorder. Too little thyroid hormone could be a contributor to a low libido, but the cumulative impact of other hypothyroidism symptoms like weight gain, low energy, and body aches and pains can also play a part.

Dry Skin
Dry, itchy skin can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. The change in skin texture and appearance could be due to slowed metabolism (caused by too little thyroid hormone), which can reduce sweating. Skin without enough moisture can quickly become dry and flaky, while also causing nails to become brittle and develop ridges.

Becoming Hoarse or Lump in the Throat
A change in your voice or a lump in your throat could be a sign of a thyroid disorder. One way to check is to take a good look at your neck to see if you can detect any signs of thyroid swelling. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends do a physical check of your thyroid at home by following these directions:

– Using a hand mirror, watch your throat as you swallow a drink of water.
– Looking for bulges or protrusions in the thyroid area, which is below your Adam’s apple but above your collarbones.
– You may want to try this several times to get a hang of where your thyroid really is.
– If you see anything that’s lumpy or suspicious, see your doctor.

Altered Appetite or Taste Buds
An increased appetite can be a sign of hyperthyroidism when too much thyroid hormone may have you feeling hungry all of the time. The only upside is that the “hyper” part of the disorder typically offsets the caloric impact of an increased appetite so the end result isn’t weight gain.

If you are dealing with several of these symptoms, see your doctor and ask for a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test, Free T3, and Free T4 tests to determine if you have an issue.