Key symptoms of hypothyroidism

Watch out for the following symptoms:7,10

  • Fatigue, drowsiness and/or weakness
  • Mental fogginess, poor concentration and memory
  • Depression
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight despite diet and exercise
  • Fluid retention
  • Constipation
  • Abnormal menstrual periods and/or fertility problems
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Thin and brittle hair or fingernails and/or dry flaky skin

Tell your doctor about these symptoms; he will perform different blood tests to make a valid diagnosis.

Causes of hypothyroidism

Autoimmune thyroid disorder (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)7

Surgery or radiation of the thyroid gland7

An underactive thyroid by birth7

An underactive thyroid by inflammation as a consequence of an autoimmune attack or viral infection7

Too little or too much iodine11,12

Drugs interfering with thyroid hormones7

References

  • 7ATA Hypothyroidism Booklet. The American Thyroid Association. 2003 http://www.thyroid.org/patients/brochures/Hypothyroidism%20_web_booklet.pdf Accessed December 2011
  • 10Abalovich M et al. Management of Thyroid Dysfunction during Pregnancy and Postpartum: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. JCEM 2007; 92 (8) (Supplement): S1–S47
  • 11Teng W et. al. Effect of Iodine Intake on Thyroid Diseases in China. New England Journal of Medicine 2006; 354:2783-2793
  • 12Utiger R. Iodine Nutrition – More Is Better. New England Journal of Medicine 2006; 354:2819-2821