14 Signs You May Have Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, is a condition whereby Your thyroid is arguably the most important gland in your body, so it’s important to spot possible signs that could mean it’s not doing what it’s supposed to do. Here’s what to look for, consult your doctor if you have more than one symptom.

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Symptoms of hypothyroidism and the signs you may have a thyroid problem…

1. Feeling Extremely Tired

Being tired after waking up from a full night’s sleep is one possible sign that your thyroid isn’t functioning at its best.

Under ideal circumstances, getting enough sleep should lead to you waking up feeling refreshed and ready to go for the day. Perhaps you’ve gotten so used to feeling this way that you don’t recognize it as a problem, and take it for granted that it’s just a part of life.

Knowing the signs of hypothyroidism, including what is and isn’t a symptom, is important so you don’t go a long time without detecting it, or have a false positive and seek treatment unnecessarily.

Tired for No Reason

Feeling tired after physically exerting yourself from an activity is one thing, but when you feel run down and fatigued as your default setting, it’s a sign that something isn’t right. If you’ve taken steps to boost your energy levels, like eating fresh fruits and vegetables, getting enough water, and getting restful sleep, it may be your thyroid that is causing the low energy levels.

2. Feeling Depressed

If you’ve been feeling down, having depressed thoughts, and otherwise withdrawing from activities and social situations you used to look forward to, you may have an underactive thyroid.

Hormone-induced depression, the kind associated with an underactive thyroid, occurs when you’re not getting the right blend of hormones, affecting your mental state over time if not treated properly.

The Mayo Clinic reminds us that feeling depressed alone is not enough to properly identify an underactive thyroid. You’ll want to look at the other symptoms listed here and see if you are experiencing more than one.

Common Feelings Associated with Depression

It can sometimes be hard differentiating between depression and just feeling sad or negative. One clear sign of depression is that you don’t find enjoyment in things you used to enjoy. Regardless of if it’s your thyroid or not, you’ll want to talk with your doctor if you’re experiencing consistent and constant thoughts that bring you down.

3. General Weakness

We’ve already seen that a state of extreme tiredness could be a thyroid problem, and if that’s paired with muscle weakness it’s even more likely that it’s your thyroid.

Often when you feel tired and fatigued, it’s easy to lump feeling weak together with those symptoms. But you’ll want to make sure that aside from having low energy levels, your muscles feel like they’re straining to contract and stay contracted.

Remember, you only need to show one of these signs to suspect hypothyroidism, so the more you have the more important it is to take steps to treat it.

Specifically Your Muscles

When checking for weakness, it’s your muscles that you’ll want to judge to see if they feel strong and able to get you through the day, or if they’re unable to muster the energy to propel you through what needs to get done.

Dry Skin and Hypothyroidism

4. Skin and Nail Dryness

Dry skin and nails are one possible signal that you’re suffering from hypothyroidism. One of the most common signs of hypothyroidism is dry skin, according to the Thyroid Foundation of Canada.

It’s most common to experience this dryness during the winter months when the air is dry and the winds are cold and consistent. Your thyroid fluctuates with the seasons, and you may only experience this symptom in a particular season.

Look for dry, brittle nails and itchy, dry skin as the two biggest signs. You may also experience a dry and itchy scalp. Eczema can also be a sign, and you may even notice that your skin has changed color.

When Moisturizers Aren’t Working

It’s when you’ve applied skin moisturizers and lotions and you’re still experiencing dryness that’s the sign it could be a thyroid problem. Dry skin alone is not necessarily a sign, it’s when it’s excessive to the point of not responding to treatment.

5. Mental Fog

Do you find yourself suffering from a mental haze during the day, even when you’re eating healthy food and getting enough water?

There is a strong link between your hormone levels and the proper functioning of your body’s organs, including your brain. Running a shortage on your thyroid hormone keeps your brain in a less than optimal mode, resulting in what is referred to as brain fog, or mental fog.

Each of us has experienced brain fog at one time or another, and often it will pass and we’ll get back to normal. It’s when you’re consistently experiencing it for long periods of time throughout the day that it could be a thyroid condition.

Other Possible Causes

Check to make sure that what you’re describing as brain fog is not due to other factors such as lack of sleep, hunger, overeating, allergies, dehydration, and other problems that can cause lapses in your ability to focus and stay clear headed.

6. Constipation

If you’re eating a diet full of fiber-rich foods and exercising regularly, but still suffer from bouts of constipation, it may be that your thyroid isn’t keeping up the proper pace of hormone production.

It isn’t just constipation, but other bowel-related problems could have their source in an under-producing thyroid.

When you have constipation coupled with at least one other symptom listed here, there is more and more likelihood that your thyroid is involved in some way.

Users Comments:

  • Kari

    I have experienced most of these symptoms. The problem is that many of these symptoms can be ignored for a long time. I was told when I was in my late teens that I had fibromyalgia, so I’ve always blamed my symptoms on that and – honestly, laziness. I just thought I was genetically lazy or something! It was only last year (I’m 37 now) that I went to the doctor and found out I had hypothyroidism. In other words, don’t ignore your symptoms!

    • Bianca

      At least you have a doctor that actually treated you. For the rest of us out there we have been left to literally die from untreated thyroid disease.

  • Aleisha

    I currently live with everyone of these symptoms. I brought it to my doctors attention a couple of years ago, she simply told me that it is Fibromyalgia and there is nothing they can do for me. She told me to get over it and exercise because I am just fat. Well, now that I am 33 and my symptoms are getting worse, I still can not get her to acknowledge or even run a test for my thyroid. Now I am looking to doctors in the Seattle area (I live in AK) and looking into specialists and someone who will listen to me. Thank you for this wonderful list of General Symptoms. Please don’t ignore them, seek help right away before it is too late.

    • Susan

      I have every single symptom listed. After doing quite extensive reading/research on my own, I showed an article regarding hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue to my primary dr and finally, at 55, getting an appt. With an Endocrinologist the end of this month. I can’t wait to finally be going to the correct specialist!! Good luck to all of you, especially women, out there… In my experience alot of drs. Seem to blow off women’s physical
      complaints as unimportant or just pms or some such crap!

    • Aireal

      Hi Aleisha,

      I have been diagnosed with both Hashimoto Thyroiditis (Hypo-thryroid) and Fibromyalgia. If your doctor will not run thyroid tests on you, then you need to go to a new doctor. I’m 22 years old and I am weak and tired all of the time. I’m not overweight, but I’ve noticed the weight gain since I was diagnosed.

      You should go see an endocrinologist and have them run tests on you. Or find a new primary care doctor.

      Also, there are some things you can do for Fibromyalgia. Try taking something like Lyrica or Neorotin. Both of these prescriptions are similar and help the every day joint pain.

      It took my doctors until my thyroid was 5 times the size it should be before they started me on synthroid and now it’s taking a while to get back to normal. Make sure you push for the care you need!

  • Stacy

    Was told by my gynecologist to take thyroid medication because I have hypothyroid. I have most of the symptoms. I went to an endocrinologist and he said your numbers have been the same for years, just put on an extra sweater! Your thyroid is fine….but I wake up every night and can’t get back to sleep….. This has been going on for 5 years around menopause….trying to find a holistic healer who can help me

  • Savvy

    All of you should look into Iodine.

  • serah

    Using drugs all the time to solve issues is not healthy. Unless your situation is severe, id also say just dress warm when you are done taking shower and stay warm all day as much as you can avoid the cold. Drugs come with a package of side effects, which will necessitate use of other drugs and it becomes cyclic

  • Sandra

    I don’t have all of these symptoms, but I do have a few of them, especially the one with my hair and it coming out in clumps when I brush it, my brush or pick is full of hair. . .this just started all of sudden about a month ago and now I don’t have as thick of hair as I use to. . .I also have a dry itchy scalp no matter what I do, and another symptom I have is slow bowels, which I’ve been told can be related to my diabetes, but I don’t think my diabetes has anything to do with the rest of my symptoms. . .making an appointment on Monday!

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