For such a tiny gland, the thyroid plays an essential role in a number of bodily functions. Located right below the Adam’s apple, this butterfly-shaped gland produces hormones necessary for metabolism and brain activity; so, when your thyroid is out of whack, a number of necessary bodily functions are thrown off kilter, too. It’s important to be aware of a few key symptoms of thyroid diseases, particularly when so many of them can be easily overlooked. Here’s a list of five signs your thyroid may not be functioning properly.
You have little to no energy
If you feel unusually tired midday, despite having gotten a decent night’s rest, you might be exhibiting symptoms of an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism. As WebMD reports, this condition manifests when your thyroid isn’t producing enough of the hormones it should be, leaving you groggy. If your sleep patterns have shifted recently due to unknown causes, it is recommended that you schedule a visit to your endocrinologist.
You’re often anxious
Agitation and nervousness is a sign of hyperthyroidism, which is an over-function of the thyroid gland. As explained by the Mayo Clinic, hyperthyroidism accelerates your body’s metabolism, causing a sudden influx of the hormone thyroxine and spurring feelings of nervousness, agitation or irritability.
Unusual weight gain or weight loss
If you haven’t altered your eating patterns and are experiencing sudden weight loss, you might be exhibiting symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Alternately, unusual weight gain could be an indicator of hypothyroidism. Any abnormal weight fluctuations could be signals of an out-of-whack thyroid, whether over- or underactive, and should warrant a checkup with your endocrinologist.
Changes in skin texture and appearance
Itchy or dry skin is another telltale symptom of hypothyroidism. An underactive thyroid slows the metabolism, leading to reduced perspiration and a lack of moisture in the skin. Hypothyroidism can also cause brittleness, or even stunted growth, in nails and hair.
Issues concentrating and mental fogginess
Have you been facing difficulties concentrating or experiencing unusual cloudiness? Poor mental function is a common symptom of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. As reported by Health.com, an overactive thyroid can cause difficulty focusing, and an underactive thyroid can cause fogginess. If you’ve been exhibiting either of these symptoms, it’s worth getting your thyroid checked.