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5 Subtle Signs of an Underactive Thyroid in Women

5 Subtle Signs of an Underactive Thyroid in Women

An underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, can make you feel sluggish, tired, and generally unwell. If you’re a woman with hypothyroidism, it can be easy to attribute its symptoms to conditions like menopause, your menstrual cycle, or even stress.

Thyroid expert Thomas Nguyen, MD, from Nguyen Medical Group in Boynton Beach, Florida, finds that thyroid problems in women can be more difficult to detect than in men. In women, these five subtle symptoms can indicate you have an underactive thyroid.

What is hypothyroidism?

The thyroid is located inside your neck and regulates various hormonal processes in your body. These include your metabolism, body temperature, and physical growth.

Hypothyroidism means your thyroid is underactive. Depending on the severity of your hypothyroidism, it can cause symptoms ranging from lethargy to weight gain to developing autoimmune disorders.

Five subtle hypothyroidism symptoms in women

Hypothyroidism is more common in women than men, and the markers are often difficult to detect. Your symptoms can come on slowly, and it can be easy to mistake them for other medical conditions.

For this reason, it’s important to have your thyroid tested if you have any possible symptoms. These are five potential signs of an underactive thyroid that can be easy to miss.

1. Unusual menstrual cycles

Difficulties with your menstrual cycle can be one potential indication of hypothyroidism. Women with hypothyroidism often have monthly periods that are significantly longer or shorter than a typical period or periods that are heavier or lighter than usual.

You might also have irregular menstrual cycles and sometimes skip monthly periods. Some women with hypothyroidism had their first monthly period at a much earlier or later age than usual.

2. Changes in your mood

If you’ve been feeling depressed, anxious, or irritable recently, an underactive thyroid could be to blame. One cause of depressive feelings, major depressive disorder, and anxiety disorders is hypothyroidism.

If you’ve had any recent changes in your mood, getting your thyroid checked is a good first step toward determining the cause.

3. Fuzzy memory

Hypothyroidism can slow everything down, including your cognitive processes. It might make you start to experience a cluster of mental symptoms known as brain fog, including trouble concentrating, remembering things, and generally feeling less clear.

4. Infertility

One reason women can have difficulty conceiving is hypothyroidism. Infertility happens when you’re not ovulating because your menstrual cycles are irregular from an underactive thyroid.

5. Difficulty during pregnancy

If you do get pregnant with an underactive thyroid, you’re at higher risk of pregnancy complications like miscarriage, preeclampsia, and premature birth. You might want to consider having your thyroid tested if you have a history of complications during pregnancy.

Diagnosing and treating hypothyroidism

If you have any symptoms of an underactive thyroid, including subtle signs, our team can check your thyroid levels with a blood test. We order this test in conjunction with taking a thorough exam and medical history.

We prescribe medication to replace your thyroid production. Coupled with a healthy lifestyle, you can relieve uncomfortable symptoms and feel much better.

If you suspect you have an underactive thyroid or need help managing your condition, contact us for a diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. 

 

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