Watch Your Metabolism: 10 Signs You Should Get Your Thyroid Checked

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Thyroid problems can affect your mood and everyday life activities.

According to The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, thyroid disorders affect at least 30 million Americans and half of them are undiagnosed. Robin Miller, medical doctor and integrative medicine specialist, said that women are 10 times more likely than men to experience thyroid problems

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck. It secretes several different hormones that are responsible for such bodily functions as metabolism, physical growth and development, and body temperature. According to an article The Atlantic earlier this year, people experiencing fatigue, sensitivity to cold, weight gain, dry skin, weakness, or a puffy face, could be experiencing the symptoms of thyroid problems.

It is important to consult with you doctor if you think that you are suffering from a thyroid disorder. Common forms of thyroid disorders include hypothyroidism (when the thyroid gland does not make enough of the thyroid hormone) and hyperthyroidism (when the gland produces too much of the hormone). We created a list of common symptoms to help you perform a self-assessment.

1/10. Change in Appetite

One of the worst effects of hyperthyroidism is that, if have too much of the thyroid hormone flowing through the body, you’re hungry all the time.

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Your taste and smell can also be affected if your thyroid is underactive, which in turn can affect your appetite.

2/10. Depression

Hypothyroidism can affect your mood directly.

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If your body does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone, your levels of serotonin, or the “happy hormone” in the brain, may be low.

3/10. Disrupted Sleep

If you are falling asleep at your work desk every day and it is extremely difficult for you to wake up in the morning, hypothyroidism could be the cause, because it slows down all of your bodily functions.

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If you cannot sleep, hyperthyroidism could be causing rapid pulse and anxiety, which can wake you up in the middle of the night.

4/10. Dry Skin

Dry skin is not always a result of the change of seasons or forgetting to use lotion.

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Dry and itchy skin can be due to a slow metabolism, which is what happens when the thyroid hormone production is limited.

5/10. Exhaustion

Although it may be hard to pinpoint a thyroid disorder from increased tiredness, exhaustion does occur from not having the right amount of the thyroid hormone in your body.

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According to Miller, fatigue from thyroid disorders is obvious when you get a full night of sleep, but still have no energy.

6/10. Fuzzy Brain

When your sleep is not sound and you experience fatigue throughout the day, it’s no wonder you are unable to concentrate. Cognitive function is affected when you have a thyroid disorder.

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According to Miller, many women think that it is a sign of menopause, when really it’s a thyroid problem.

7/10. High Blood Pressure

We hear of high blood pressure all the time but did you know that it can be the result of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism?

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A rise in blood pressure can be due to both too much and too little of the thyroid hormone pumping through the body.

8/10. High Cholesterol

When your body possesses high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, there is possibly a link to hypothyroidism.

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The LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol in the body, can be due to an underactive thyroid.

9/10. Irregular Bowl Movements

The digestion process slows down when you have a disruption in the thyroid hormone production.

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According to Miller, the motility in your gut is gone and in other forms of the disorder, an overactive thyroid gland can cause diarrhea.

10/10. Weight Gain

If your diet hasn’t changed and your exercise routine is sound, your weight gain could be attributed to a thyroid disorder.

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An underactive thyroid can make you gain weight, despite your active lifestyle and healthy diet, according to Miller.

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