12 Subtle Symptoms Of A Thyroid Problem That You Should Never Ignore

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Most of the time, when we feel something a little funny in our bodies, we simply shake it off: “It’s just a cold, allergies, or age,” we tell ourselves.

Sometimes this is true. But more often than we expect, these seemingly innocent problems can indicate bigger medical issues — like how lightheadedness could be a sign of heart disease in women.

That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the messages our bodies send us — such as when we experience issues with our thyroid.

Though it’s a just small gland in our throats, the thyroid is responsible for producing the thyroid hormone (or TH), which regulates your metabolism, temperature, and heartbeat.

If a thyroid suddenly gets all out of whack, it can do one of two things: it either becomes overactive, producing too much of the hormone, or it can also slow down and grow sluggish, developing too little of the hormone.

To learn how to spot some of the early warning signs of thyroid issues, scroll down and read these often-overlooked symptoms.

What Does A Thyroid Look Like?

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Your thyroid is located in the front of your neck and is shaped like a butterfly, which is highlighted above in red. It’s hard to believe such a tiny thing in your body can have so much influence.

If your thyroid becomes overactive, it produces too much of the thyroid hormone, thus developing hyperthyroidism.

Oppositely, your thyroid can become under-active, developing too little thyroid hormone, thus developing hypothyroidism.

Symptom #1: Feeling Sad or Depressed

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LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

According to the Mayo Clinic, an over- or under-active thyroid can completely alter your mood. Too little thyroid hormone can affect the levels of “happy” serotonin in the brain, making you feel unusually blue or even depressed.

On the flip side, too much thyroid hormone can make you feel anxious, restless, or irritable.

Symptom #2: Constipation

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LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

If you are suffering from constipation and you can’t kick it, it is likely a disruption in thyroid hormone production has caused a slowdown in digestion.

“This is one of the top three most common symptoms of hypothyroidism,” says integrative medicine specialist Dr. Robin Miller.

Symptom #11: Increased Appetite or Changes in Tastebuds

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LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Do things taste differently all of a sudden? An under-active thyroid can mess with your sense of taste and smell, according to Health.com.

However, if you can’t stop eating, it may be hyperthyroidism — or an overactive thyroid.

If this is the case, the “hyper” part of the disorder will balance out all the calories you take in — so despite constantly eating, you might not gain any weight. Though this might sound like every woman’s dream, it’s definitely cause to make an appointment with your doctor.

Symptom #12: Neck or Throat Discomfort

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LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Your thyroid is in your neck, so physical pain in the place where it’s located makes sense. A lump in your throat, change in your voice, or even a goiter could be a sign of a thyroid disorder.

If you feel any of these things, look at your neck in the mirror and see if you notice any swelling.

According to AACE Thyroid Awareness, you can further your investigation by doing the following: “Hold a mirror in your hand, focusing on the lower front area of your neck, above the collarbones, and below the voice box. Your thyroid gland is located in this area of your neck.

While focusing on this area in the mirror, tip your head back. Take a drink of water and swallow. As you swallow, look at your neck. Check for any bulges or protrusions in this area when you swallow. (Reminder: Don’t confuse the Adam’s apple with the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located further down on your neck, closer to the collarbone. You may want to repeat this process several times.)

If you do see any bulges or protrusions in this area, see your physician. You may have an enlarged thyroid gland or a thyroid nodule that should be checked to determine whether further evaluation is needed.”

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