What are the Signs & Complications of Thyroid Problems?

Medpho Team May 9, 2023

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine organ that wraps around the windpipe and is found below Adam's apple in the lower region of the neck (trachea).

The thyroid regulates several body activities, including:

  • Metabolism of sugars, proteins, electrolytes, and water.
  • Rate of metabolism (oxygen consumption)
  • Development and growth
  • Infection resistance
  • Vitamin necessities
  • Reproduction
  • Contributing to metabolic rate
  • Maintaining bone and joint health
  • Maintaining muscle control
  • Preserving brain development and function
  • Keeping the heart and digestive systems healthy

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) occurs when a person's thyroid hormone production is insufficient. Hyperthyroidism (also known as hyperactive thyroid) is the polar opposite of hypothyroidism, in which the body generates too much thyroid hormone, which raises the body's metabolism.

Thyroid problems are difficult to identify because they can be misinterpreted for other health concerns, including menopause or cognitive impairments. However, you should be aware of several early indicators of thyroid problems.

Early warning signs of thyroid problems include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of weight
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Sensitivity to cold

While these symptoms could indicate a thyroid disease, only a medical specialist can confirm it beyond a reasonable doubt. Our expert doctors can help you diagnose thyroid illness and establish a treatment plan that will help you regain your health. Get free teleconsultation with our Thyroidologists call 88569-88569.

1. Fatigue

It's common to interchange the terms fatigued and tired. Still, the exhaustion experienced by people with hypothyroidism and other thyroid problems is quite distinct. While getting a good night's sleep will help you feel better, it won't heal exhaustion caused by thyroid problems.

thyroid symptoms Weight gain

2. Weight Gain

The thyroid plays a vital role in weight management because it regulates metabolism. Thyroid problems can cause your metabolism to malfunction, affecting your weight significantly.

One of the first approaches to test for thyroid problems is to measure a patient’s BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). This test assesses your metabolism by monitoring how much oxygen your body utilizes over time. In this scenario, a low BMR score would indicate hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism causes weight gain in most people, which can go unnoticed. On the other hand, severe hypothyroidism can result in much more dramatic weight gain. Weight gain isn't necessarily due to increased fat mass; instead, it could be due to the body retaining water and salt.

3. Weight Loss

Thyroid issues can also cause weight loss. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is hyperactive, unlike hypothyroidism when the thyroid gland is underperforming. Your BMR would be substantially greater than normal in these cases.

The amount of weight you lose due to a hyperactive thyroid depends on the severity of your problem, just like weight gain. A significantly overactive thyroid burns more calories than a healthy or underperforming one. Weight loss can occur if you do not fulfill your new caloric requirements. 

On the other hand, hyperthyroidism increases hunger. Therefore some people gain weight while having an overactive thyroid. It adds to the thyroid's complexity and its function in weight and metabolism. Other factors do play a role in weight, but the health of your thyroid is still a vital sign.

4. Slowed Heart Rate

Your thyroid's health can have an impact on your heart's health. For example, Hypothyroidism causes an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone, which leads to a slower heart rate.

This has effects beyond your heartbeat. Insufficient thyroid hormone can cause arteries to lose flexibility over time, resulting in elevated blood pressure as blood circulation becomes more difficult. Hypothyroidism can also cause higher cholesterol levels.

5. Increased Heart Rate

Hyperthyroidism causes an elevated heart rate rather than a slower one. When too much thyroid hormone is produced, you can experience quicker, harder heartbeats and occur at irregular rhythms.

Like with hypothyroidism, those with hyperthyroidism can also develop high blood pressure. You can also experience chest pains due to a combination of high blood pressure and congested or stiff arteries. 

6. Sensitivity to Heat

A typical sign of an overactive thyroid is heat sensitivity. As we discussed with weight loss, hyperthyroidism causes your metabolism to overdrive, burning more calories. It has an impact on more than simply your weight. Too much thyroxine, a thyroid hormone, can be highly heated and sensitive.

People with unusual sensitivity to heat feel hot when others feel comfortable—people with hyperthyroidism experience abnormal sweating and even anxiety due to feeling hot.

7. Sensitivity to Cold

Cold hands and feet are standard in hypothyroidism patients. Even in rooms where everyone else is hot, this can happen. This occurs when your body produces insufficient thyroxine, causing your metabolism to slow. Hypothyroidism eventually impairs your body's capacity to produce energy that keeps you warm naturally, causing you to become particularly sensitive to cold temperatures.

If you face any signs of thyroid disorders, get free teleconsultation with our expert doctors today call 88569-88569.

Complications of Thyroid Problems

If you have a thyroid issue that is not treated appropriately, serious health complications can result.

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) can lead to several problems, including:

  • Eye problems include bulging eyes, double vision, or vision loss.
  • Heart disorders are usually treatable, such as a fast heart rate, irregular heart rhythm, or heart failure.
  • Osteoporosis (brittle bones)
  • Swollen and red skin, particularly on the shins and feet
  • Thyrotoxic crisis, which is characterized by an increase in symptoms such as fever, fast heart rate, and delirium, necessitates immediate medical attention.

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) can cause a range of complications, including:

  • An enlarged thyroid, often known as a goitre, can cause difficulties in swallowing and breathing.
  • High cholesterol and correlated heart disease.
  • Tingling, numbness, and discomfort in the legs, arms, and other affected areas due to nerve injury.
  • Birth deformities
  • Infertility
  • Premature birth or miscarriage
  • Depression and other mental health issues
  • Myxedema is an uncommon, life-threatening illness characterized by extreme cold sensitivity, lethargy, and drowsiness, which can lead to unconsciousness. Myxedema necessitates immediate medical care.

If you and your loved ones are experiencing any complications mentioned above, get free teleconsultation with our Thyroidologists call 88569-88569.