Hypothyroidism Symptom
Updated September 16, 2004





Hypothyroidism Symptom
by Brian Benjamin Carter, MS, LAc

Brian is the founder of the Pulse of Oriental Medicine. He teaches at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and maintains a private practice in San Diego, California, and is the author of Powerful Body, Peaceful Mind: How to Heal Yourself with Foods, Herbs, and Acupressure.

About 18 out of 1000 people have hypothyroidism. There are a variety of hypothyroidism symptoms, and you're more likely to have some of them than others if you have hypothyroidism.

Of course, to know for sure, you need to get thyroid function tests (which involve a blood draw) from your doctor. They may also do and EKG. However, in order to know they need to order tests for you, the doctor needs to hear that you have certain specific symptoms that could mean you have hypothyroidism.

The most dependable hypothyroidism symptom is fatigue - 99% of diagnosed people have it. Dry or coarse skin is a symptom of 97% of hypothyroid sufferers. Lethargy, an abnormal drowsiness, is found in 91% of hypothyroid cases. Also common are slow speech (91%), decreased sweating (89%), and intolerance to cold (89%).

Three-fourths of people get dry, coarse brittle hair. About two-thirds get the hypothyroidism symptom, forgetfulness. A little less than that (61%) get are bothered with constipation.

Some other, less common hypothyroidism symptoms are:

  • weight gain even with less food intake
  • water swelling (edema)
  • joint pain
  • low libido
  • headache
  • hoarseness
  • slow thinking
  • hair loss, especially in the outer third of the eyebrows
  • broken nails
  • no menstrual period or excessive or frequent menstruation
  • generalized muscle weakness
  • cold, dry, thick, scaling skin on palms, soles, elbows, and knees, possibly with a yellow-orange color

Other hypothyroidism symptoms are visible to others. These include a round puffy "moon" face or facial edema (79% of cases), edema around the eyelids (90%), a large thick tongue (82%), and dry nails with lengthwise ridges.

Your doctor may detect these hypothyroidism symptoms: faint heart impulse, indistinct heart tones, heart enlargement, slow heartbeat, fluid around the sac that protects the heart, and high or low blood pressure.

It's important to detect hypothyroidism because it doesn't improve on its own, and you can get thyroid replacement (natural such as armour thyroid, or the synthetic drug synthroid), which will immediately and dramatically end your symptoms. Plus, untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to coma! So, if you have many of these symptoms, see your doctor.

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All information herein provided is for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of appropriate local experts and authorities.

Copyright 1999-2074, Pulse Media International, Brian Carter, MSci, LAc, Editor