Check your thyroid!

This section provides some information on symptoms related to common thyroid disorders.

  • Palpitations
  • Muscle weakness
  • Paralysis (periodic)
  • Forgetfulness
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Sleepiness/sleeplessness
  • Sadness/depression
  • Irritability/emotional

These symptoms are all seen in varying degrees in patients with thyroid disease, whether hyper- or hypothyroidism. They are caused by over- or under-production of thyroid hormones with effects on the heart and skeletal musculature, nervous system and mental status of patients. Circulating thyroxine (T4) enters the cell as triiodothyronine (T3) and produces its action in the heart & skeletal muscles or nerve cells of the brain as the case may be.

Many of these symptoms are often attributed to disorders in the heart, muscles or nerves themselves especially when the thyroid gland is not visibly enlarged to call the attention of the patient or the physician. Work-up by cardiologists, neurologists and psychiatrists along their lines of specialties can be normal until the level of suspicion becomes high enough to look at the thyroid gland as the culprit – and rightly so.