Thyroid problems in males symptoms: Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) – NHS
Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) – NHS
An underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) is where your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones.
Common signs of an underactive thyroid are tiredness, weight gain and feeling depressed.
An underactive thyroid can often be successfully treated by taking daily hormone tablets to replace the hormones your thyroid is not making.
There’s no way of preventing an underactive thyroid. Most cases are caused either by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland and damaging it, or by damage to the thyroid that occurs during some treatments for an overactive thyroid or thyroid cancer.
When to see a GP
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid are often similar to those of other conditions, and they usually develop slowly, so you may not notice them for years.
For example, if you are an age where you may be expecting the menopause, you may think you have started the menopause rather than having an underactive thyroid.
You should see a GP and ask to be tested for an underactive thyroid if you have symptoms including:
- weight gain
- being sensitive to the cold
- dry skin and hair
- muscle aches
The only accurate way of finding out whether you have a thyroid problem is to have a thyroid function test, where a sample of blood is tested to measure your hormone levels.
Read more about testing for an underactive thyroid.
Both men and women can have an underactive thyroid, although it’s more common in women. Children can also develop an underactive thyroid and some babies are born with it.
All babies born in the UK are screened for congenital hypothyroidism using a blood spot test when the baby is about 5 days old.
Treating an underactive thyroid
Treatment for an underactive thyroid involves taking daily hormone replacement tablets, called levothyroxine, to raise your thyroxine levels.
You’ll initially have regular blood tests until the correct dose of levothyroxine is reached. This can take a little while to get right.
Once you’re taking the correct dose, you’ll usually have a blood test once a year to monitor your hormone levels.
You’ll usually need treatment for the rest of your life. However, with proper treatment, you should be able to lead a normal, healthy life.
If an underactive thyroid is not treated, it can lead to complications, including heart disease, goitre, pregnancy problems and a life-threatening condition called myxoedema coma (although this is very rare).
The thyroid gland
The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just in front of the windpipe (trachea).
One of its main functions is to produce hormones that help regulate the body’s metabolism (the process that turns food into energy). These hormones are called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).
Many of the body’s functions slow down when the thyroid does not produce enough of these hormones.
- British Thyroid Foundation: Your guide to hypothyroidism
- British Thyroid Foundation: Patient forums
Page last reviewed: 10 May 2021
Next review due: 10 May 2024
Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and More
Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland produces more thyroid hormones than your body requires. It’s also known as “overactive thyroid.” It can harm the health of your heart, muscles, semen quality, and more if not treated effectively.
The small, butterfly-shaped thyroid gland is located in the neck. Hormones made by the thyroid gland affect your energy level and the functioning of most of your organs. Thyroid hormone, for example, plays a role in the beating of your heart.
The opposite of hyperthyroidism is the more common hypothyroidism, or “underactive thyroid,” which is when the gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones to match the body’s needs.
While women are 2 to 10 times more likely than men to develop an overactive thyroid, male hyperthyroidism does occur and usually requires medications to keep it in check. Men and women share many of hyperthyroidism’s main symptoms, but there are some symptoms that are unique to men.
A condition known as Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism for men, though women are still more likely to develop this autoimmune disorder.
Having Graves’ disease means your immune system mistakenly attacks a healthy thyroid gland, causing it to produce too much thyroid hormone. It usually develops between the ages of 30 and 50, though it can form at any age.
Other causes include:
- nodules, which are abnormal clusters of thyroid cells within the gland
- Plummer’s disease, also known as toxic nodular goiter, which is more common in women and people over age 60
- thyroiditis, any of several conditions that cause inflammation of the thyroid gland
- too much iodine intake from medicines or diet
There are many signs of hyperthyroidism. Some, like difficulty sleeping, you may not notice or think of as symptoms of a serious underlying health condition. Others, like an abnormally rapid heartbeat (even when at rest) should get your attention quickly.
Other common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- unexpected weight loss, even when food consumption and appetite remain unchanged
- irregular heartbeat
- heart palpitations
- tremor (usually trembling of the fingers and hands)
- increased sensitivity to heat and/or cold
- more frequent bowel movements
- muscle weakness
- hair thinning
Though men and women tend to share most of the same common symptoms of hyperthyroidism, there are a few important complications that affect men only.
In particular, an overactive thyroid can contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED), as well as a low sperm count. Premature balding can also be a sign of hyperthyroidism in men.
Too much thyroid hormone can also cause lower levels of testosterone, which can lead to several complications. For example, men may also be more noticeably affected by a loss of muscle mass caused by hyperthyroidism.
Osteoporosis triggered by an overactive thyroid may also take men by surprise, as this bone-thinning disease is most often associated with women. A condition known as gynecomastia (male breast enlargement) can also be a result of hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid hormones affect the function of certain cells in your testes, according to a 2018 study in the International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology. For example, too much or too little thyroid hormone can interfere with the healthy function of Leydig cells, which help produce and secrete testosterone.
Hyperthyroidism also affects sperm cells, leading to reduced sperm density and motility (how well sperm can move or “swim”). It can even affect the actual shape or form of the sperm themselves.
Thyroid disease is also associated with erectile dysfunction, though the connection still isn’t well understood. Both overactive and underactive thyroid disorders may affect erectile function, though hypothyroidism tends to be more commonly linked to ED.
All of this can lead to infertility. If you’ve been unable to father a child, a test of your semen quality may help lead to a solution. A low sperm count should be followed by a test of your thyroid hormone levels. These are simple tests that could lead to a treatment that will balance out your hormone levels, which in turn may help improve your sexual health, too.
Just because women may be more likely to develop hyperthyroidism, doesn’t mean that men shouldn’t be tested as their risks increase. You should have noticeable symptoms evaluated. You should also be screened for hyperthyroidism if you have a family history of thyroid disease or are over age 60. Likewise, you may be at higher risk if you have type 2 diabetes, in which case, you should consider thyroid disease screening.
Hyperthyroidism evaluation starts with a review of your medical history and symptoms. Your doctor may look to see if you have a tremor and changes in your eyes or skin. They may also check if you have overactive reflexes. All of these may indicate an overactive thyroid.
In addition to a physical exam, hyperthyroidism screening should include a test for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine, the main hormone released by the thyroid gland. An imaging test called a thyroid scan can also be helpful in diagnosing hyperthyroidism.
Talk with your doctor about getting screened, as thyroid disease is a widely underdiagnosed and undertreated health problem. An estimated 60 percent of people with some form of thyroid disease don’t know they have the condition.
If you have symptoms of hyperthyroidism, don’t wait to be tested for this disorder. Damage to your health may be ongoing without you realizing it.
If you’re diagnosed with hyperthyroidism but don’t yet have any noticeable symptoms, still follow through with your doctor’s advice about treatment. Discuss all the risks and benefits of various treatment options before committing to one approach. The sooner you start to deal with hyperthyroidism, the less long-term harm it can cause.
Symptoms and signs of thyroid disease in men: what you need to know?
- 1 Symptoms and signs of thyroid disease in men: how to identify the disease in time?
- 1.1 Symptoms of thyroid disease in men
- 1.2 Thyroid: what is it?
- 1.3 Thyroid problems in men
- 1.4 How to recognize the symptoms of thyroid problems in men
- 1.5 Symptoms of hypothyroidism
- 1.5.1 General description
- 1.5.2 Symptoms of hypothyroidism in men
- 1.5.3 When to see a doctor
- 1.6 Hyperthyroidism: symptoms to know
- 1. 6. 1 1. Increased nervousness and irritability
- 1.6.2 2. Excessive sweating
- 1.6.3 3. Heart disease
- 1.6.4 4. Muscle fatigue and weakness
- Gnostics and treatment of thyroid diseases in men
- 1.7.1 Diagnosis
- 1.7.2 Treatment
- 1.8 How to prevent thyroid disease in men
- 1.9 Lifestyle changes to improve thyroid disease in men
- 1.9.1 Proper nutrition
- 1.9. 2 Exercise
- 1.9.3 Minimizing stress
- 1.9.4 Regular consultations with specialists
- 1.10 Diet for men with thyroid disease
- 1.11 Vitamins for thyroid disease in men
- 1.11.1 Vitamin D
- 1.11.2 Vitamin E
- 1.11.3 Vitamin A
- 1.11.4 Vitamin C
- 1.12 Changes after treatment of thyroid disease in men
- 1.13 Related videos:
- 1.14 Q&A:
- 220.127.116.11 What symptoms may indicate problems with the thyroid gland in men?
- 1. 14.0.2 What are the consequences of neglecting thyroid problems for a long time?
- 18.104.22.168 What is the role of the thyroid gland in men?
- 22.214.171.124 Can stress cause thyroid problems?
- 126.96.36.199 What are the diagnostic methods for thyroid diseases?
- 188.8.131.52 What treatments are used to treat thyroid disorders?
Learn about the symptoms and signs of thyroid disease in men to help you see a doctor and start treatment. Be mindful of your health
The thyroid gland plays a key role in the body by regulating the production of hormones responsible for metabolism and organ function. Unfortunately, disorders of the work of this gland occur in many people. Even though the incidence is higher in women, men can also develop thyroid problems.
The main causes of thyroid disease in men are heredity, age, environment and lifestyle. If a man has problems with the thyroid gland, then you need to pay attention to the following symptoms.
Fatigue and general weakness. Men with thyroid disease may feel weak and tired even after little exercise. They may also be prone to drowsiness or feel unexplained tired during the day.
Decreased sex drive. Low thyroid hormone levels can affect male sexual function. They may experience erection problems, decreased libido, or have trouble ejaculating.
Irritability and depression. An enlarged thyroid gland can affect a man’s emotional state. He may experience feelings of anxiety, irritability, or even depression.
If you experience these symptoms, you should see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease.
Thyroid symptoms in men
Thyroid problems in men are not as common as in women, but they can still occur and lead to serious consequences. One of the main symptoms of the disease is a metabolic disorder, which can lead to weight loss or, conversely, weight gain.
Men may also experience a decrease in potency in case of thyroid disease. This is due to the fact that disorders in the thyroid gland can affect the level of hormones responsible for the sexual function of the body. There may also be problems with teeth and gums, such as periodontitis or caries, which is associated with a violation of bone metabolism in the body.
- Total: Thyroid disease in men is no less dangerous than in women, and can lead to serious consequences, so it is important to seek medical help and conduct regular examinations, especially when the first symptoms of the disease appear.
Thyroid gland: what is it?
The thyroid gland is an endocrine organ that is located on the front surface of the neck and regulates metabolic processes in the body. It produces the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which are involved in the regulation of body temperature, bone formation, body growth and development, metabolism and other important processes.
The thyroid gland is a small gland that can range in size from 20 to 60 mm in width and from 25 to 50 mm in height, depending on the sex, age and health of the individual. It consists of two lobes, connected by an isthmus, and is located in close proximity to the larynx and trachea.
The production of thyroid hormones is controlled by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland through a chain of regulatory factors. Any violation of this chain of pathology can lead to various disorders in the body associated with the activity of the thyroid gland.
Thyroid disorders in men
The thyroid gland is an organ that produces hormones and controls many important bodily functions. As in women, men can develop diseases of this gland, which can lead to different symptoms. One of the most common diseases in men is thyroid cancer, which can present with a variety of symptoms, including swollen lymph nodes, painful swelling of the neck, voice problems, and crushed nails.
In addition to cancer, however, other thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can also occur in men. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the gland does not produce enough hormones. Signs of hypothyroidism in men may include fatigue, drowsiness, increased sensitivity to cold, decreased sexual activity, etc. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much hormone. Signs of hyperthyroidism in men can include weight loss, depression, insomnia, nervousness, palpitations, etc.
- What signs can indicate thyroid disease in men?
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Painful swelling of the neck
- Voice problems
- Crushing nails
- Tiredness and drowsiness
- Increased sensitivity to cold activity
- Weight loss
- Depression and nervousness
If you experience these symptoms, you should see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment of thyroid problems. Early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of complications and improve quality of life.
How to Recognize the Symptoms of Thyroid Problems in Men
The thyroid gland plays an important role in the body and under or overworking can lead to serious consequences. If you notice symptoms that may indicate a thyroid problem, it is best to seek medical advice.
Fatigue and irritability can be another sign of thyroid problems. If you feel tired even after getting enough rest, or feel sluggish and without energy, this may indicate that your thyroid gland needs to be checked.
- Other signs of thyroid problems in men:
- feelings of depression or anxiety;
- slowing down of thought processes;
- loss of sexual desire;
- pain in muscles and joints;
- dry skin and hair;
- irregular pulse and palpitations;
- other metabolic disorders.
If you suspect that you have problems with the thyroid gland, do not put off a visit to the doctor. Rapid identification of problems and proper treatment can prevent the development of serious diseases.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not export enough thyroid hormones, which can lead to poor metabolism and functioning of all organs and systems of the body. Symptoms of hypothyroidism in men often develop slowly, so the first signs may not be noticeable for several years.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism in men
- Fatigue and weakness: Fatigue appears even after little physical exertion and can be felt all the time.
- Memory problems: difficulty remembering new information, poor concentration, forgetfulness.
- Low body temperature: Men with hypothyroidism may feel cold all the time and have low body temperature.
- Weight Gain: Hypothyroidism can increase weight in men due to reduced metabolism.
- Decreased libido: In the absence of additional erectile dysfunction, men may notice a decrease in libido and interest in sexual activity.
- Dryness of skin and hair: skin and hair may become drier and the skin may be rough and itchy.
When to see a doctor
If you notice at least a few of the symptoms listed above, you should consult an endocrinologist for diagnosis. Timely treatment of hypothyroidism will help prevent the development of serious complications.
Hyperthyroidism symptoms to be aware of
1. Increased nervousness and irritability
Men with hyperthyroidism may notice that they often experience increased nervousness and irritability for no specific reason. A person can be extremely short-tempered and nervous even with small daily problems.
2. Excessive sweating
Hyperthyroidism can lead to excessive sweating in men, even in cool conditions. They feel hot most of the time, their skin may be constantly damp and their hair wet.
3. Heart disease
A person with hyperthyroidism may experience a rapid heartbeat or cardiac arrhythmia, which can lead to serious consequences. It is important to consult a doctor in a timely manner and start treatment.
4. Fatigue and muscle weakness
Men with hyperthyroidism often complain of muscle weakness and fatigue, even with light physical exertion. Sometimes they may feel “tense” even if they are not exercising.
Men with hyperthyroidism often have indigestion, which manifests itself in the form of diarrhea or constipation, nausea and vomiting. This can lead to weight loss and weakness due to nutritional deficiencies.
Diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease in men
If thyroid disease is suspected, it is important to consult an endocrinologist. Various methods are used for diagnosis: examination, ultrasound diagnostics, biopsy, computed tomography and others. One of the main methods is a blood test for the level of thyroid hormones – triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
If an enlarged thyroid gland is found, the endocrinologist may recommend a biopsy, which will determine the nature of the malignancy of the tumor, if any. Computed tomography may also be prescribed for a more detailed study of the disease.
Treatment of thyroid diseases depends on their nature and stage of development. In some cases, conservative therapy may be used. For example, hormone replacement therapy can be used to treat hypothyroidism to help restore normal thyroid hormone levels.
Thyroid radiation may be prescribed in some cases. However, this is a rarely used treatment, as it may come with a risk of developing thyroid cancer.
In general, the treatment of thyroid diseases in men is not a difficult task if timely access to a specialist and diagnosis in the early stages of the disease.
How to prevent thyroid disease in men
A healthy lifestyle is the main factor that has a positive effect on thyroid health in men. It is recommended to lead an active lifestyle, exercise and eat right. It is important to monitor the daily routine, get enough sleep and not overstrain nervously and emotionally.
When planning the diet, attention should be paid to foods containing iodine: seaweed, shellfish, fish and milk. It is important to make sure that the diet contains enough fruits, vegetables and nuts. They will help strengthen the immune system and provide the necessary supply of vitamins and minerals.
Regular preventive medical examinations are just as important for health. It makes it possible to identify problems with the thyroid gland at an early stage and begin treatment. Regularly conducting research, you can avoid serious complications and maintain health.
In general, to prevent thyroid disease in men, it is necessary to establish the basic rules of a healthy lifestyle, regularly conduct medical examinations and follow a rational, nutritious diet.
Lifestyle changes to improve thyroid disease in men
Thyroid disease is often associated with malnutrition. Foods high in iodine should be avoided unless there is a lack of iodine. Eating foods high in fat and sugar can also impair thyroid health. It is necessary to increase the consumption of proteins, fruits, vegetables and grains. Drinking clean water regularly should also become a habit, as keeping your body hydrated will help keep your thyroid healthy.
Regular exercise is very important for maintaining thyroid health. Men with thyroid disease should not engage in overly tiring exercise, but should choose exercises that can help them keep their muscles and bones in good shape. Outdoor walks, swimming, yoga, and jogging can be beneficial for men with thyroid disease, as they improve circulation and the body’s metabolism.
Stress can be one of the causes of thyroid disease. Men should strive to avoid stressful situations, find ways to relax and reduce the amount of time spent in front of computer and TV screens. Practicing meditation, yoga, or deep breathing regularly can help reduce stress levels and improve the overall health of a man with thyroid disease.
Regular expert advice
Regular consultations with specialists, such as an endocrinologist and a nutritionist, are important to monitor the condition of the thyroid gland and to adjust the treatment regimen in accordance with changes in the disease. Do not forget to monitor your health and visit these specialists regularly.
Diet for thyroid disease in men
Thyroid disease in men requires a special dietary approach. The first priority is an adequate intake of iodine. It is the main element necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones.
However, do not overdo it with iodine – an excess can lead to the opposite effect. It is recommended to limit the intake of foods high in iodine, such as seafood, crabs and shellfish.
Also, you should pay attention to the level of total calorie intake. Men with thyroid disease may experience metabolic disorders, so it is recommended to reduce the intake of carbohydrates and fats.
- Useful products are:
- Black tea;
- Salty and fatty foods;
- Useful products are:
Thus, proper nutrition is of great importance in diseases of the thyroid gland in men. Increase your iodine intake, balance your diet, and avoid certain foods.
Vitamins for thyroid disease in men
Vitamin D is a very important element for a healthy thyroid gland in men. It helps to increase the level of hormonal activity in the gland and increase the level of testosterone in the blood. In addition, it helps build muscle mass and strengthen bones.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect the thyroid from free radicals. It also improves the immune system and helps reduce stress levels in the body. This vitamin can be obtained from nuts and green vegetables.
Vitamin A is essential for a healthy thyroid and has antioxidant properties. It also helps control hormone levels in the body and supports eye health. This vitamin can be obtained from orange and yellow vegetables such as carrots and bell peppers, as well as from fish and egg yolks.
Vitamin C helps maintain a healthy thyroid, boosts immunity and fights inflammation in the body. It is also an antioxidant and helps repair damaged cells. This vitamin can be obtained from citrus fruits, berries and green vegetables.
- In summary, in men with thyroid disease, the diet should be rich in vitamins and minerals that will help to cope with the problem. It is recommended to include nuts, green vegetables, fish, citrus fruits and berries in the diet to get everything you need for thyroid health.
Changes after treatment for thyroid disease in men
Treatment of thyroid disease in men can significantly improve their quality of life. After successful treatment, a significant improvement in health can be seen after a few weeks or months. However, it may take months, sometimes years, to achieve full recovery.
Men may experience some changes in their lives after treatment for thyroid disease. You may need to change the dose of medications or even completely stop some drugs. It is important to monitor your own well-being and observe possible symptoms of the regression of the disease.
- Reduction of symptoms: One of the main effects of treating thyroid disease in men is the reduction and even complete disappearance of symptoms. Previously, there could be heart problems, metabolic disorders, frequent mood swings, etc. After the treatment, energy and working capacity increase significantly.
- Restoration of potency: The thyroid gland plays an important role in the production of hormones responsible for the function of the reproductive system. In men, low levels of thyroid hormones can lead to potency problems. For thyroid disorders, subsequent treatment and normalization of hormone levels can increase the intensity and duration of erections.
- Weight Gain: If the thyroid gland is disturbed, metabolic problems can occur, which in turn can lead to weight gain. After treatment of thyroid disease in men, the process of gradual normalization of body weight can begin.
What symptoms may indicate thyroid problems in men?
Symptoms may vary depending on the type of disease: hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, inflammatory diseases, etc., but common signs include fatigue, weight changes, irritability, sleep disturbances, problems with memory and concentration, and increased sensitivity to cold .
What are the consequences of neglecting thyroid problems for a long time?
Prolonged neglect of thyroid problems can lead to serious complications such as hypertension, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, osteoporosis, infertility and even thyroid cancer. Therefore, it is important to see a doctor at the first symptoms.
What is the role of the thyroid gland for men?
The thyroid gland is responsible for the production of hormones that regulate metabolism, which is important for maintaining healthy bones, heart and nervous system. It also plays a key role in the regulation of sex hormones, which affects potency and libido.
Can stress cause thyroid problems?
Yes, excessive stress can lead to an imbalance in thyroid hormones, which can lead to various diseases such as hypothyroidism. Therefore, it is important to control the level of stress and find ways to cope with it.
What are the diagnostic methods for thyroid diseases?
Various methods are used to diagnose thyroid disorders, such as ultrasound, thyroid blood test, thyroid biopsy, and tomography. A doctor may prescribe several of these methods for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
What treatment methods are used to treat thyroid diseases?
Treatment of thyroid disorders includes hormone replacement, drugs to lower thyroid hormone levels, and sometimes surgery. Regular consultations with your doctor are important for effective treatment and monitoring of your thyroid condition.
How to recognize the symptoms of thyroid disease?
Chronic fatigue, anxiety, drowsiness, apathy, we often attribute to stress, hard work, long-term lack of rest. And it is difficult to argue with this – constant tension sooner or later leads to emotional and physical exhaustion of the body. However, under the “mask” of chronic stress, serious problems with the thyroid gland can be hidden. A complete list of symptoms and signs of thyroid disease, collected in our article, will help to recognize these problems.
General information about the thyroid gland
Although the thyroid gland is small in size, the existence of an organism is simply impossible without it – thyroid hormones determine the speed at which metabolic processes in cells will proceed and how they will absorb nutrients. With insufficient production of hormones, the rate of metabolic processes slows down, respectively, the organs begin to receive less nutrients. With excessive production of hormones, on the contrary, metabolic processes become faster, leading to an overload of many body systems.
And since the influence of thyroid hormones extends to absolutely all cells in our body, the symptoms of its diseases will be very different – from changes in mood, skin, hair and ending with disorders of the cardiovascular and reproductive systems.
Conventionally, all symptoms of thyroid diseases can be divided into two groups: the first group includes symptoms associated with hormonal abnormalities – an excess or lack of hormones, the second group includes symptoms that occur with inflammation of the thyroid gland.
I. HORMONAL DISORDERS
Symptoms of excessive amounts of thyroid hormones (thyrotoxicosis)
the thyroid gland begins to produce a large amount of hormones uncontrollably, in addition, an excess of hormones can provoke the intake of a large amount of iodine or excessive use of thyroid hormones.
Excessive sweating, poor tolerance to heat and stuffy rooms
An excess of thyroid hormones in the body leads to a sharp acceleration of metabolism and, as a result, excessive heat generation. Therefore, the skin becomes hot and excessively moist to the touch. The feeling of heat and increased sweating are disturbing, poor tolerance to stuffy rooms appears. Often a person begins to wear lighter, out of season clothes, sleep under a lighter blanket.
Increased irritability, tearfulness, frequent mood swings
Increased hormone levels lead to excessive activation of the nervous system. This is manifested by irritability, frequent mood swings, a feeling of constant anxiety. Tearfulness may disturb, hands begin to tremble.
Thyrotoxicosis is also characterized by a decrease in body weight, despite increased appetite, as the processes of destruction of proteins and fats begin to predominate in the body.
But, in rare cases, the weight may not decrease, but rather increase. This is observed when eating a significantly larger amount of food due to increased appetite.
Frequent loose stools (diarrhea)
Another cause of weight loss is frequent and loose stools (diarrhea), which also occur due to excessive activation of the nervous system.
The most serious complication of excess thyroid hormones is the overload of the cardiovascular system. Pulse quickens above 100 beats per minute. With a long course of the disease, a violation of the heart rhythm appears. At first, interruptions in the work of the heart occur briefly, but later become permanent. In older people, an abnormal heart rhythm may be the only manifestation of excess thyroid hormone.
In addition, blood pressure also increases . A feature of this condition is an increase in the upper, that is, systolic blood pressure. Lower – diastolic blood pressure may remain normal or even decrease.
Poor exercise tolerance
With an excess of thyroid hormones, a person begins to tolerate physical activity much worse – weakness appears, some people experience shortness of breath even with little activity. This is due to a violation of the processes of enrichment of cells with oxygen. This condition is aggravated by a violation of the heart rhythm, as well as increased destruction of protein in the body. With a significant excess of thyroid hormones, the processes of protein destruction are so active that the volume of muscle mass may even decrease. Dystrophic changes begin to develop in the heart.
Decreased sex drive
In men, even a slight increase in thyroid hormones very often leads to a decrease in sex drive (libido). Later, there are complaints of erectile dysfunction. This happens due to an imbalance in male sex hormones, when there is much more “inactive” testosterone, while the amount of “active” hormone, on the contrary, decreases.
In women, an excess of hormones usually does not lead to a change in sexual desire.
Enlarged eyes, tearing in bright light, double vision
Sometimes the eyes are also involved in thyroid disease. This happens due to the accumulation of fluid in the adipose tissue, which is located behind the eye, as a result of which the eyes begin to be pushed out of the orbit and become like “fish”. The large size of the eyes also leads to the fact that the eyelids stop closing, which causes lacrimation. In a later stage of the disease, the muscles of the eyes begin to swell, complaints of double vision appear.
Note: it is important to start treatment at the earliest stage of the disease, as changes in the eyes become irreversible very quickly.
Symptoms of insufficient thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism)
The most common cause of a lack of thyroid hormones is the development of autoimmune thyroiditis, a disease in which the immune system begins to produce proteins (antibodies) that block the production of thyroid hormones.
Apathy, depression, memory impairment
First of all, thyroid hormone deficiency affects the psycho-emotional state – mood becomes depressed, memory begins to deteriorate, a person becomes distracted and inattentive. With a long course of the disease, apathy and even depression develop. Most often, with such problems, a person turns to a psychotherapist, not suspecting that in fact the cause of everything is problems with the thyroid gland.
Weakness, increased fatigue, drowsiness
Also, hypothyroidism is characterized by increased fatigue and weakness. Very strong drowsiness begins to bother, sometimes 12-14 hours of sleep becomes not enough to get enough sleep. However, sleep can be very superficial and with frequent awakenings.
Lack of thyroid hormones slows down all metabolic processes in the body, one of the manifestations of which is a decrease in body temperature. Therefore, a person begins to feel chilliness, there is a desire to dress warmer. And the more pronounced the lack of thyroid hormones, the more the body temperature will decrease.
Slow metabolism, of course, cannot but affect body weight – weight begins to increase even despite reduced appetite.
Weight gain also contributes to the accumulation of fluid in the body. Initially, edema appears only on the face – it becomes puffy, pale, swollen eyelids. Then the tongue begins to increase, this can be understood by the imprints of the teeth on the lateral surface of the tongue (if there were none before), the lips increase. With a strong deficiency of hormones, edema spreads to the entire body, including internal organs – the lungs and heart.
Hearing loss, hoarseness
The accumulation of fluid in the body can lead to hearing loss, difficulty breathing through the nose and a hoarse voice. Moreover, if the deficiency of thyroid hormones persists for a long time, then hearing may no longer be restored.
Cough, sensation of a lump in the throat, discomfort in the neck
Enlargement of the thyroid gland leads to discomfort in the neck, sensation of a lump in the throat. However, for some people, neck discomfort occurs only when wearing tight collars or scarves.
Excessive hair loss, dry skin
Lack of nutrients also affects hair and nails. Hair begins not only to grow more slowly, but also becomes dull, brittle, begins to fall out excessively on the head, eyebrows, limbs. Nails become thinner, longitudinal striation appears on them. Hormone deficiency also negatively affects the skin – it becomes dry, cold to the touch. With a pronounced deficiency of hormones, the skin begins to peel off very strongly, cracks appear on the heels.
Slow pulse, increased blood pressure
Thyroid hormones have a stimulating effect on the cardiovascular system; begin to tolerate physical activity worse.
One of the common symptoms of a lack of thyroid hormones is the occurrence of muscle pain, which feels very similar to the condition after strong physical exertion. Most often, the pain bothers in the morning.
Reduced sex drive (libido), erectile dysfunction
In hypothyroidism, a decrease in sex drive occurs quite often, both in men and women. This is facilitated by a general depressed mood, apathy, and, of course, a violation of the production of sex hormones. With a significant decrease in thyroid hormones, erectile dysfunction develops in men.
Even a slight deficiency of thyroid hormones can adversely affect the reproductive function of both women and men. Women with hypothyroidism most often cannot become pregnant, but if pregnancy does occur, then there is a very high risk of its interruption at an early stage. For the fetus, a severe deficiency of thyroid hormones can lead to the development of dementia.
Men also experience fertility problems due to reduced sperm quality.
II. SYMPTOMS OF THYROID INFLAMMATION (BACTERIAL, VIRAL)
In the thyroid gland, as in any other organ, inflammation can occur. Most often, inflammation in the gland is provoked by viruses, and it does not appear immediately, but only 3-4 weeks after the disease (subacute thyroiditis). Less common is bacterial damage to the thyroid gland (acute thyroiditis). It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between these two diseases, but, as a rule, the symptoms of subacute thyroiditis increase gradually, while with a bacterial lesion, the disease begins suddenly.
Pain in the neck, jaw or ear
Pain in the neck is due to the development of swelling in the thyroid gland. By nature, it can be very different: from aching inconspicuous to sharp shooting. Most often, the pain is one-sided, but as the disease progresses, it can spread to the other side of the neck, lower jaw, or ear.
Note: If you are worried about severe neck pain, then, first of all, you need to contact a general practitioner or endocrinologist. However, if you experience more severe pain in your jaw or ear, you should consult a dentist or an otolaryngologist.
When the thyroid gland is infected with a virus, body temperature usually ranges from 37. 0°C to 38.5°C. With a slight inflammation, the temperature may rise very slightly.
But bacterial inflammation is characterized by a sharp rise in temperature to 39.0-40.0°C.
Note: Autoimmune thyroiditis also causes inflammation in the thyroid gland. However, with this disease, there are no typical signs of inflammation, that is, there is no increase in body temperature, and the symptoms of the disease appear only when hormone production is disturbed or the gland is enlarged.
Changes in thyroid hormone production
Inflammation in the thyroid gland can lead to various changes in thyroid hormones. At the beginning of the disease, the amount of hormones, as a rule, increases due to cell destruction, so symptoms characteristic of an excess amount of hormones appear. Then the level of thyroid hormones normalizes for a short time. And after a while, the body begins to experience a lack of hormones, since the destroyed cells are not able to work productively, and it takes time to restore them.