Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Five Common Symptoms of Thyroid Problems

If you are reading this page you are probably wondering if you have Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism. Most people have just a few of the symptoms, but they are very representative and clear, such as, heart palpitations when they are not a result of normal physical activity, menstrual period that has been the same for years and now you are experiencing changes, losing a lot of weight without any particular reason. In those cases- I would say trust your intuition and if you think that something may be wrong, it's better to check and find out earlier than later.

As Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism are usually "booked" for women 45-55 years old, and this also is the period when most of them get into menopause, all the symptoms can be usually mistaken for menopause symptoms, or panic attack related symptoms, or just nervousness due to stress.

If you find that you have 3-5 of these symptoms present, you should inform your doctor and insist on further tests.

1. Excessive sweating
2. Heat intolerance
3. Increased bowel movements
4. Tremor (usually fine shaking)
5. Rapid heart rate
6. Weight loss
7. Decreased concentration
8. Pretibial myxedema (lumpy, reddish-colored thickening of the skin, usually on the shins)
9. Weakness
10. Shortness of breath
11. Double vision
12. Muscle wasting
13. Mental impairment, memory lapses, diminished attention span
14. Brittle nails
15. Diminished sex drive
16. Abnormal breast enlargement (men)
17. Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)
18. Nervousness, agitation
19. Trembling hands
20. Irritability
21. Fatigue
22. Insomnia (inability to get enough sleep)
23. Diarrhea
24. Protruding eyeballs (Graves' disease only)
25. Decrease in menstrual periods (oligomenorrhea), Irregular and scant menstrual flow (Amenorrhea)
26. Eye irritation
27. Change in the sex drive
28. Hair loss
29. Increased sweating
30. Heat intolerance
31. Unexplained weight loss despite increased appetite
32. Itchy skin, hives
33. Heart palpitations
34. Memory loss
35. Restlessness
36. Tachycardia (rapid heart rate: 100-120 beats per minute, or higher)
37. Arrhythmia (irregular heart beat)
38. Elevated blood pressure
39. Erratic behavior
40. Chronic sinus infections
41. Eye pain, irritation, or the feeling of grit or sand in the eyes
42. Swelling or redness of eyes or eyelids/eyelid retraction
43. Sensitivity to light
44. Difficulty conceiving/infertility/recurrent miscarriage
45. Hypertension
46. Lumpy, reddish skin of the lower legs (pretibial myxedema)
47. Smooth, velvety skin
48. Increased appetite
49. Increased energy
50. Muscle weakness (especially in the large muscles of the arms and legs) and degeneration

Out of the above 50 symptoms there are 5 that usually stand out and many times the doctor can suggest a diagnose based on them, and of course require further thyroid blood tests to confirm the correctness of the diagnose. These 5 very specific symptoms are as follows:

1. Protruded, watery eyes, light-sensitive, sand feeling
2. Palpitations and shortness of breath, especially when resting
3. Significant weight loss, but increased appetite
4. Insomnia or trouble sleeping
5. Emotional sensitivity, irritability

If you have any of the above mentioned symptoms, please consult your family practitioner so the corresponding thyroid tests will be performed, usually your TSH, FT3 and FT4 will be enough to determine if you have a hyperthyroid condition or Grave's disease.

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