You may know the classic signs of trouble with your thyroid (a butterfly-shaped gland on the front of your neck).
An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) makes you sweat more, feel hot, lose weight, or makes your heart beat faster.
An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) does the opposite. You might feel cold, gain weight, and get a slower heartbeat.
But there are other less obvious signs that you need to be aware of.
1 Brain fog
Your thyroid gland sends certain hormones to your brain to help it do all its many jobs. When hypothyroidism slows down the stream of those hormones, one side effect is “brain fog.”
You may find it hard to focus, remember things, or think clearly.
2 Mood changes
Are you feeling sad and uneasy? There could be lots of reasons for it, but thyroid trouble is on the list.
Depression is often the first sign of a thyroid problem and anxiety is also linked to it. It’s more common to feel depressed when you have hypothyroidism but anxiety is common with hyperthyroidism.
3 Pregnancy issues
Studies show that if you have an untreated thyroid disorder, you’re more likely to have complications when you’re pregnant, such as pre-eclampsia.
You also have greater risk of a miscarriage or stillbirth and may give birth prematurely or have a low-birth-weight baby.
4 Period problems
Menstruation trouble can be a sign of a thyroid condition. Periods that are very light, very heavy, or irregular can all be symptoms.
If you have no period at all, that can also be a sign and girls with thyroid disorders may get their first period very early or very late.
5 Puffy face
Does your face look puffy or swollen? It could be extra fluid your body is hanging onto because your thyroid isn’t working right.
You’ll usually notice it most in your eyelids, lips, and tongue.
6 Blurred vision
Sometimes a thyroid condition causes extra fluid to build up in tissues around your eyes. When that happens, it can make the muscles that control your eyes get bigger.
You might find you have trouble focusing or you could also have double vision.
7 Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Extra fluid shows up in other places in your body, too. The nerves that go to your hands travel through a tunnel of soft tissue near your wrist. When that tissue swells from too much fluid, it can put pressure on the nerves there.
The numbness, tingling, and weakness that you get in your fingers is called carpal tunnel syndrome.
8 Food tastes different
You taste with both your mouth and your brain. When your thyroid isn’t acting the way it should, it can interfere with one or both of these parts of the taste process.
That can make foods taste differently from they usually do.
9 Low libido
When your thyroid slows down, so does your metabolism. Your metabolism controls organs in your body that produce sex hormones.
When you’re low on these hormones, with hormone imbalance such as oestrogen dominance for example, then your libido can be affected.
10 Hair loss
It’s normal to lose some hair every day, but if you’re starting to notice your scalp more or see changes in the overall thickness of your hair, your thyroid could be the reason.
Usually this is a problem only for severe thyroid disorders that you’ve had for a long time.
11 High blood pressure
An underactive thyroid can cause your blood vessels to become less flexible, which makes it harder for your heart to move blood to all the parts of your body. An overactive thyroid can increase blood pressure and make your heart beat faster.
12 Changes in toilet habits
Constipation can be a sign of hypothyroidism, as can having a bowel movement frequently.
If you have thyroid trouble, you might also have runny, loose stools.
Unfortunately thyroid issues are common at menopause and many women are given medication such as Thyroxine or similar.
As bioidentical progesterone also supports thyroid function it can be helpful to also add this, but always let your doctor know about any additional supplements to your medication you are taking.