The thyroid gland is responsible for the production of thyroid hormones, which are critical to the body’s metabolism. Disorders of the thyroid can lead to fluctuations in the levels of these hormones and can, in turn, affect how your body functions on various fronts.
One in eight women suffers from thyroid disorders, according to the American Thyroid Association. When the thyroid hormones are in deficit, the body slows down and this leads to hypothyroidism. On similar lines, when your thyroid produces hormones in excess, it causes hyperthyroidism.
Here are a few symptoms of thyroid disorders in women:
- Fluctuations in weight
When thyroid functions are below normal, metabolism slows down. As a result, the body begins to store the calories ingested as fat. Sometimes women who are newly diagnosed with hypothyroidism can gain from 7 to 14 kilograms.
If you have hyperthyroidism, the body metabolism speeds up. This can lead to the depletion of fat stores as well as muscle mass. Despite a healthy intake of food, you can look thin and malnourished.
- Tiredness and fatigue
A dip in thyroid hormones in hypothyroidism can leave you low on energy. Thyroid hormones also control signals to the brain in terms of alertness and a deficit and a deficit can throw the body off balance. You may feel tired, sluggish and sometimes, mentally exhausted.
Hyperthyroidism can cause the feeling of being nervous, jittery or wound up. But a constant state of hyperactivity will also cause you to be exhausted at the end of the day.
- Fluctuations in blood pressure
Along with other body functions, the heart also slows down in hypothyroidism. This will lead to lower blood pressure and heartbeats as low as 60 beats per minute or lower.
In the case of hyperthyroidism, the heartbeat rises and can also cause you to feel the heart pounding in your chest as if you have just been racing. Any stress to the heart, in this case, could also be life-threatening.
- Changes in mood
Depression and dullness of mood is a common symptom of hypothyroidism due to changes in the brain’s neurotransmitters.
Hyperthyroidism can cause you to feel anxious and irritable. It can also feel like you are on the edge and everything is out of control.
- Modifications in bowel patterns
Slowing down of bowel movement in hypothyroidism along with low digestion can lead to constipation. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism can lead to increased bowel movement and diarrhea.
- Variations in the hormone cycle
Changes in thyroid hormones also impact the other reproductive hormones and functions of the body. Hypothyroidism can cause heavier or more frequent periods, whereas, in hyperthyroidism, you can have lighter or no periods.
- Changes in skin and hair
Both skin and hair can become dry and brittle in both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Severe cases of either form of thyroid disorder can also lead to thinning and loss of hair.
- Temperature sensitivity
Hypothyroidism can make you feel cold even in normal temperatures, but hyperthyroidism can make you feel sensitive to heat as well as cause excessive sweating in normal temperatures.