Weakness And Aches In Muscles And Joints
Low thyroid hormone flips the metabolic switch toward catabolism, which is when the body breaks down body tissues like muscle for energy .
During catabolism, muscle strength decreases, potentially leading to feelings of weakness. The process of breaking down muscle tissue can also lead to aching .
Everyone feels weak once in a while. However, people with hypothyroidism are twice as likely to feel more weak than usual, compared to healthy people (
One study in 35 individuals with hypothyroidism showed that replacing low levels of thyroid hormone with a synthetic thyroid hormone called levothyroxine improved muscle strength and decreased aches and pains, compared to no treatment .
Another study showed a 25% improvement in the sense of physical well-being among patients receiving thyroid replacement .
Weakness and aches are normal following strenuous activity. However, new, and especially increasing, weakness or aching is a good reason to make an appointment with your physician.
Summary: Low levels of thyroid hormone slow down your metabolism and can cause painful muscle breakdown.
What Are The Risk Factors For Thyroid Nodules
Risk factors for developing thyroid nodules include:
- Family history. Having parents or siblings who have had thyroid nodules or thyroid or other endocrine cancers increases your chance of developing nodules.
- Age: The chance of developing nodules increases as you get older.
- Gender: Women are more likely than men to develop thyroid nodules.
- Radiation exposure: A history of radiation exposure to the head and neck increases your risk of developing nodules.
Risk factors for developing cancerous thyroid nodules include:
- Family history of thyroid cancer
- A nodule that is hard or is stuck to a nearby structure
- Male gender
Aching Joints And Muscles
This was a symptom that came later for me, but I thought it was because I wasnt sleeping well. Id wake up with aching leg muscles. I also started to notice my hands hurting a lot, and I kept dropping things, too.
The thyroid hormones take so much out of your body, it is common to be depleted of minerals. This often causes aches, pains and even cramps.
Also Check: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Hyperthyroidism
Trouble Regulating Body Temperature
Are you often cold when nobody else is? This was something I struggled with for a long time, I thought it was just me. When I finally found a doctor that would take my thyroid problem seriously, on the list of questions he asked me were if I was cold often. He said this is a common indicator of thyroid issues.
Can I Get Hypothyroidism From My Hyperthyroidism Treatment
You can get hypothyroidism from hyperthyroidism treatments. This is sometimes the goal of a healthcare provider. In hypothyroidism, the amount of thyroid hormone needs to be boosted. This can be done with medications that you regularly take. Adding hormones to your body is more manageable than trying to get your body to decrease the amount of thyroid hormone it creates.
Can hyperthyroidism cause female infertility?
One of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism in women can be irregular menstrual cycles . The imbalance of thyroid hormone can impact all parts of your body. Some women actually start reaching out to their healthcare provider because of issues becoming pregnant and then learn about a thyroid condition.
Also Check: Thyroid Facial Swelling
How To Check Your Thyroid For Any Issues
Both Lee and Rao said there arent any recommendations for routine thyroid screenings in cases that dont involve symptoms or family history, so its important to speak to your doctor if any of these confusing red flags have you feeling off. From there, your doctor can do a series of tests in addition to bloodwork.
Your doctor may start by examining the thyroid with their hands this is called palpation, Rosenfeld said. They will place their fingers on the bottom of the neck while they are facing or standing behind you. You may be asked to drink water to make the thyroid move, to see if they feel any abnormalities.
If anything does feel unusual, Rosenfeld said, your doctor may order an ultrasound to check for any potential thyroid nodules or enlargement of the thyroid. They may also order bloodwork to check specific TSH, T3 or T4 levels or thyroid antibodies, which could signal an autoimmune thyroid condition like Hashimotos disease.
From there, doctors can get a picture of your thyroid health and determine the next steps to take, or check for a separate issue behind your symptoms, such as anemia or a vitamin D deficiency unrelated to the thyroid.
Its important to keep in mind that aside from eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting enough exercise there is no special thyroid diet you should be doing, Rosenfeld said.
You should repeat this a few times to get a good visual. Heres a video that shows exactly how to do the at-home process.
Discuss Selenium Supplementation With Your Doctor
Selenium is a nutrient found in specific proteins, and the thyroid has the highest concentration of selenium in the adult body. Keeping a balanced level, either through a healthy diet or through supplementation, can help prevent thyroid disease. Even if you’re getting enough selenium from the foods you eat, supplementation can still help boost your immune system.
You May Like: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid
Radiation Treatment Of The Thyroid
Radioactive iodine, a common treatment for hyperthyroidism, gradually destroys thyroid cells. If you receive radioactive iodine treatment, you probably will eventually develop hypothyroidism. Doctors also treat people who have head or neck cancers with external radiation therapy, which can also damage the thyroid if it is included in the treatment.
How Is Thyroid Disease Diagnosed
Sometimes, thyroid disease can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are easily confused with those of other conditions. You may experience similar symptoms when you are pregnant or aging and you would when developing a thyroid disease. Fortunately, there are tests that can help determine if your symptoms are being caused by a thyroid issue. These tests include:
- Blood tests.
- Physical exams.
One of the most definitive ways to diagnose a thyroid problem is through blood tests. Thyroid blood tests are used to tell if your thyroid gland is functioning properly by measuring the amount of thyroid hormones in your blood. These tests are done by taking blood from a vein in your arm. Thyroid blood tests are used to see if you have:
The specific blood tests that will be done to test your thyroid can include:
These tests alone arent meant to diagnose any illness but may prompt your healthcare provider to do additional testing to evaluate for a possible thyroid disorder.
Additional blood tests might include:
Talk to your healthcare provider about the ranges for these thyroid blood tests. Your ranges might not be the same as someone elses. Thats often alright. If you have any concerns or worries about your blood test results, talk to your provider.
An ultrasound typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
You May Like: How Long For Armour Thyroid To Leave System
How To Manage The Most Common Symptoms Of Graves Disease
About 10% of all women have an underactive thyroid the condition affects about only 3% of men.What increases the risk of thyroid disease? The types and frequency of thyroid disease vary around the world, based on the amount of iodine in the diet. Smoking also increases risk. Dont we get enough iodine in our diets from iodized salt? Overall, Americans have been getting enough iodine since salt iodization was started in the 1920s. But the amount in the American diet has decreased by about half since the 1970s. Thats partially due to a decline in the amount of salt we eat.But theres also less iodine in certain foods than before, particularly cows milk and bread. Thats because iodate dough conditioners are used less often by many bread manufacturers. Also, federal legislation in the 1980s limited the amount of iodine in cattle feed, which may be one reason why milk has less iodine.
Do You Have Thyroid Disease?Always cold or hot? Heart racing a mile a minute? Whether underactive or overactive, a thyroid problem can make your body feel out of whack. Knowing the symptoms can help your doctor diagnose the problem and get you feeling better fast.
How Can I Prevent Thyroid Cancer
Many people develop thyroid cancer for no known reason, so prevention isnt really possible. But if you know youre at risk for thyroid cancer, you may be able to take these steps:
- Preventive surgery: Genetic tests can determine if you carry an altered gene that increases your risk for medullary thyroid cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia. If you have the faulty gene, you may opt to have preventive surgery to remove your thyroid gland before cancer develops.
- Potassium iodide: If you were exposed to radiation during a nuclear disaster, such as the 2011 incident at Fukushima, Japan, taking potassium iodide within 24 hours of exposure can lower your risk of eventually getting thyroid cancer. Potassium iodide blocks the thyroid gland from absorbing too much radioiodine. As a result, the gland stays healthy.
You May Like: Soy Milk And Thyroid
Keep Potassium Iodide On Hand
You may want to buy some potassium iodide to keep in your family emergency kit. KI is an over-the-counter supplement that, when taken within the first few hours after a nuclear accident or an attack on nuclear facilities, can help protect your thyroid from the risk of thyroid cancer.
The reason for this is that your thyroid needs iodine to function, which it normally gets from your bloodstream. However, it can’t tell the difference between regular iodine and radioactive iodine, the type that’s released from nuclear plants or from radioactive material during nuclear explosions.
According to research, radioactive iodine can increase your chance of developing thyroid cancer, and it’s especially risky for unborn babies, infants, and young children. By taking KI, you’re saturating your thyroid with iodine so it won’t take in radioactive iodine.
In a radiation emergency, the risk of developing thyroid cancer is thought to justify the risk of taking KI. But if you’re not directly in the path of a radioactive plume, KI won’t protect you from anything. It can trigger or worsen hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, exacerbate existing thyroid conditions, and lead to conditions such as the Jod-Basedow phenomena and the Wolff-Chaikoff effect. It can also cause sialadenitis , gastrointestinal disturbances, allergic reactions, and rashes.
What Are The Complications Of Thyroid Cancer
Most thyroid cancers respond well to treatment and arent life-threatening.
After thyroid surgery or treatments, your body still needs thyroid hormones to function. Youll need thyroid replacement hormone therapy for life. Synthetic thyroid hormones, such as levothyroxine , take over for the thyroid hormones that your body no longer naturally produces.
Recommended Reading: What Is A Thyroid Specialist Called
Whats The Difference Between Hypothyroidism And Hyperthyroidism
In hypothyroidism, the thyroid doesnt make enough thyroid hormone.
The difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism is quantity. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid makes very little thyroid hormone. On the flip side, someone with hyperthyroidism has a thyroid that makes too much thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism involves higher levels of thyroid hormones, which makes your metabolism speed up. If you have hypothyroidism, your metabolism slows down.
Many things are the opposite between these two conditions. If you have hypothyroidism, you may have a difficult time dealing with the cold. If you have hyperthyroidism, you may not handle the heat. They are opposite extremes of thyroid function. Ideally, you should be in the middle. Treatments for both of these conditions work to get your thyroid function as close to that middle ground as possible.
What Causes Thyroid Disease
The two main types of thyroid disease are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Both conditions can be caused by other diseases that impact the way the thyroid gland works.
Conditions that can cause hypothyroidism include:
- Thyroiditis: This condition is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis can lower the amount of hormones your thyroid produces.
- Hashimotos thyroiditis: A painless disease, Hashimotos thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition where the bodys cells attack and damage the thyroid. This is an inherited condition.
- Postpartum thyroiditis: This condition occurs in 5% to 9% of women after childbirth. Its usually a temporary condition.
- Iodine deficiency: Iodine is used by the thyroid to produce hormones. An iodine deficiency is an issue that affects several million people around the world..
- A non-functioning thyroid gland: Sometimes, the thyroid gland doesnt work correctly from birth. This affects about 1 in 4,000 newborns. If left untreated, the child could have both physical and mental issues in the future. All newborns are given a screening blood test in the hospital to check their thyroid function.
Conditions that can cause hyperthyroidism include:
Don’t Miss: What Are Early Warning Signs Of Thyroid Cancer
How Is Thyroid Cancer Diagnosed
If you have an enlarged thyroid nodule or other signs of thyroid cancer, your healthcare provider may order one or more of these tests:
- Blood tests: A thyroid blood test checks hormone levels and gauges whether your thyroid is functioning properly.
- Biopsy: During a fine-needle aspiration biopsy, your healthcare provider removes cells from your thyroid to test for cancer cells. A sentinel node biopsy can determine if cancer cells have spread to lymph nodes. Your provider may use ultrasound technology to guide these biopsy procedures.
- Radioiodine scan: This test can detect thyroid cancer and determine if cancer has spread. You swallow a pill containing a safe amount of radioactive iodine . Over a few hours, the thyroid gland absorbs the iodine. Your healthcare provider uses a special device to measure the amount of radiation in the gland. Areas with less radioactivity need more testing to confirm the presence of cancer.
- Imaging scans:Magnetic resonance imaging , computed tomography and positron emission tomography scans can detect thyroid cancer and cancer spread.
Can Hypothyroidism Cause Erectile Dysfunction
In some cases, there can be a connection between untreated hypothyroidism and erectile dysfunction. When your hypothyroidism is caused by an issue with the pituitary gland, you can also have low testosterone levels. Treating hypothyroidism can often help with erectile dysfunction if it was directly caused by the hormone imbalance.
Also Check: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Your Thyroid
Graves Disease Diagnosis And Treatment
A simple physical exam can reveal an enlarged thyroid, enlarged bulging eyes, and signs of increased metabolism, including rapid pulse and high blood pressure. Your doctor will also order blood tests to check for high levels of T4 and low levels of TSH, both of which are signs of Graves disease. A radioactive iodine uptake test might also be administered to measure how quickly your thyroid takes up iodine. A high uptake of iodine is consistent with Graves disease.
Theres no treatment to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid gland and causing it to overproduce hormones. However, the symptoms of Graves disease can be controlled in several ways, often with a combination of treatments:
- beta-blockers to control rapid heart rate, anxiety, and sweating
- antithyroid medications to prevent your thyroid from producing excessive amounts of hormone
- radioactive iodine to destroy all or part of your thyroid
- surgery to remove your thyroid gland, a permanent option if you cant tolerate antithyroid drugs or radioactive iodine
Successful hyperthyroidism treatment usually results in hypothyroidism. Youll have to take hormone-replacement medication from that point forward. Graves disease can lead to heart problems and brittle bones if its left untreated.
Does Birth Control Affect My Thyroid
When youre on birth control pills, the estrogen and progesterone inside of the pills can affect your thyroid-binding proteins. This increases your levels. If you have hypothyroidism, the dose of your medications will need to be increased while youre using birth control pills. Once you stop using birth control pills, the dosage will need to be lowered.
Also Check: What Are Early Warning Signs Of Thyroid Cancer
When Should Women Talk To A Doctor About Thyroid Disease
The American Thyroid Association states that as many as 60% of people with thyroid conditions do not realize that they have a problem. Talk to your doctor if you notice symptoms of thyroid disease, such as inexplicable fatigue, dry skin, puffy face, or unexplained weight loss or weight gain.
Thyroid disease can cause many different symptoms: weight loss or weight gain, increased heart rate or decreased heart rate, fatigue or restlessness. This can make it difficult to identify thyroid disorders.
Most women do not need to screen for thyroid disease, but regular visits with your doctor can help stay ahead of issues with your thyroid gland. Your doctor may recommend a TSH blood test to learn more about your thyroid health.
Make sure that you share any symptoms or changes in your health with your physician, no matter how insignificant they may seem. The more information that your doctor has, the better quality of care your doctor can provide.
Renaissance Womens Healthcare specializes in comprehensive healthcare for women in all stages of life.
How Many Of These Signs And Symptoms Do You Have
Dry, pale, and cool skin Moist, velvety, and warm skin like a babys Dry skin with deep cracks and scale Deep, noticeable lines on your palms and soles Yellowish-orange color on your palms and soles Doughy and swollen face, especially on your eyelids, lips, and tongue Widening nose Sweating less than before Goiter Protruding eyes Flushing on your face and red palms Darker skin in the creases of your palms, on your gums, or elsewhere in your mouth Rashes, especially in the creases of your skin Painless lumps and patches of scaly, discolored skin, and the affected skin feels hard and waxy Reddish spots on the skin that come and go
When eyes protrude, its often a sign of thyroid disease.
Painless lumps and patches of scaly skin feel hard and waxy
Lumps on discolored skin that feel hard and waxy can be a sign of thyroid disease.
Thinning eyebrows on the outer edge Coarse, dull, dry, and brittle hair that breaks easily Soft and fine hair with lots of shedding Thinning hair or balding patches Growing more slowly Dry, itchy scalp and dandruff Less hair on your legs, arms, and other areas
Thick, dry, and brittle with visible ridges Soft, shiny, and easily crumble Growing more slowly Peel, crumble, or break easily Lift up Curved with swollen fingertip and thickening skin above the nail
Curved nails with swollen fingertip
Itchy skin without a rash Untreatable and itchy hives
Existing skin disease
Don’t Miss: Apple Cider Vinegar To Cure Hypothyroidism