LIFE

12 Signs There is Something Wrong With Your Thyroid Gland

elyse_w Elyse Wanshel

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?

What does a thyroid look like?
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

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

Symptom #1: Feeling Sad or Depressed
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

Symptom #2: Constipation
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 #3: Sleeping Too Much

Symptom #3: Sleeping Too Much
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

We all have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, but when it feels unbearable, it should be a wakeup call, according to Dr. Miller.

A sluggish thyroid can make bodily functions slow to a turtle’s pace, making you feel sleepy even during the day.

Click “Page 2” to learn what other symptoms might be caused by a thyroid condition!