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What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Symptoms for hypothyroidism vary among individuals. Common symptoms that appear early in the disease include fatigue, weight gain, cold sensitivity, brittle and thin hair and nails, pain in the joints and muscles, constipation, dry skin, heavy menstrual periods in women, fertility problems, depression and a slower heartbeat.

If the disease has progressed or gone untreated for some time, additional symptoms that may appear include puffiness, especially of the face, feet, and hands; thick skin; thinning eyebrows; slow speech; a hoarse voice; and diminished ability to taste and smell.

Those with Hashimoto's disease (an autoimmune disease that causes hypothyroidism) are inclined to have goiter (an enlarged thyroid gland that makes the base of the throat swell) and a full feeling in the throat.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism may include fatigue, depression, daytime sleepiness, cold intolerance, weight gain, water retention, thinning hair, dry skin, constipation, and difficulty concentrating. Hypothyroidism can range from mild forms that are asymptomatic, and found only via blood tests, to severe hypothyroidism, that is associated with significant symptoms along with abnormal lab results.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.