Hypothyroidism is a common endocrine disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. This occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones to meet the body’s needs, and it can lead to a wide range of symptoms.

It’s essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism because when left untreated, it can cause severe complications such as an enlarged heart, mental health problems, and infertility. In this informative article, we’ll help you understand the ten most common symptoms of hypothyroidism and how to recognize them. We’ll also dive into how hypothyroidism affects women’s health, the mental health consequences of this condition, and how to manage the symptoms with treatment and lifestyle changes.

10 Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism That You Need to Know

Hypothyroidism symptoms can vary from person to person and can be mild to severe. However, ten of the most common signs of this condition include:

  1. Fatigue: Feeling tired even after getting sufficient rest is one of the most prevalent symptoms of hypothyroidism.
  2. Weight Gain: Hypothyroidism is known to cause a decrease in metabolic rate, leading to weight gain even with reduced calorie intake.
  3. Depression: Low levels of thyroid hormones can affect the brain’s serotonin levels leading to depression, irritability, and anxiety.
  4. Constipation: Hypothyroidism can cause a slower digestive system leading to constipation.
  5. Feeling Cold: People with hypothyroidism often feel colder than others and suffer from cold hands and feet even in warm weather.
  6. Dry Skin: Hypothyroidism can lead to dry skin, hair, and nails due to a lack of thyroid hormones.
  7. Joint and Muscle Pain: Muscle and joint pain are common symptoms of hypothyroidism that often improve with treatment.
  8. High Cholesterol: Hypothyroidism may cause an increase in blood cholesterol levels, which can affect heart health.
  9. Irregular Periods: Women with hypothyroidism may experience menstrual irregularities, heavy bleeding, and painful periods.
  10. Brain Fog: Hypothyroidism can affect cognitive function, causing poor concentration, memory deficits, and brain fog.

How to Spot Hypothyroidism: A Guide to Recognizing Symptoms

So, how do you know if you have hypothyroidism if some of these symptoms can occur in other conditions? Let’s take a further look and break down each symptom to help you better recognize them.

1. Fatigue

Fatigue is a common symptom that can be challenging to identify because it can arise from other factors such as lack of sleep or stress. However, if you’re getting enough rest and still feeling exhausted, it could be a sign of hypothyroidism.

2. Weight Gain

If you’re maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly and still putting on weight, it could be an indication of hypothyroidism. This happens because the thyroid hormones play a crucial role in regulating our metabolism, and a decrease in production can result in weight gain.

3. Depression

Everyone feels low occasionally, but if you’re experiencing prolonged sadness, mood swings, and anxiety, it could be a sign of hypothyroidism. These symptoms improve with treatment once the underlying condition is diagnosed.

4. Constipation

If you’re experiencing bowel movements less than three times a week and straining when having a bowel movement, it could be a sign of hypothyroidism. This happens because decreased thyroid hormones slow the bowel’s movement.

5. Feeling Cold

If you’re feeling cold even in warm weather or have cold hands and feet, it could be an indication of hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating the body’s temperature, and when there’s a decrease in their production, it leads to feeling cold all the time.

6. Dry Skin

Dry skin, hair, and nails are a common symptom of hypothyroidism. If you notice that your skin is dry, and your hair feels brittle, it’s crucial to undergo thyroid function tests to check for hypothyroidism.

7. Joint and Muscle Pain

Hypothyroidism can cause muscle pain and weakness, joint pain, and stiffness that can impact physical activities. This symptom can be due to the accumulation of fluid in the body tissues that lead to swelling, and it improves with treatment.

8. High Cholesterol

If you have high cholesterol despite maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise routine, it could be a sign of hypothyroidism. When your thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormones, it can lead to an increase in LDL, also known as bad cholesterol, which can impact heart health.

9. Irregular Periods

Women with hypothyroidism may experience irregular periods, heavy bleeding, and painful periods that can impact their quality of life. This happens because thyroid hormones regulate the menstrual cycle, and when there’s a hormonal imbalance, it can cause menstrual irregularities.

10. Brain Fog

If you’re experiencing brain fog, which involves difficulty concentrating, poor memory, and cognitive impairment, it could be a sign of hypothyroidism. This symptom is common in older patients with untreated hypothyroidism and can sometimes be mistaken for dementia symptoms.

The Hidden Signs of Hypothyroidism: Symptoms You Might Be Overlooking

While the ten symptoms we’ve discussed are the most common signs of hypothyroidism, it’s essential to mention that hypothyroidism can cause some distinctive signs that you might not associate with the condition. These include:

Hair Loss

Hair loss can be an early sign of hypothyroidism that goes unnoticed in many people. This happens because hair follicles remain at rest and don’t grow due to a lack of thyroid hormones. This type of hair loss is not permanent and often improves with treatment.

Slow Heart Rate

Bradycardia or a slow heart rate, sometimes below 60 beats per minute, can be a sign of hypothyroidism. This can impact blood circulation and result in dizziness, lightheadedness, and fatigue.


The vocal cords rely on nerve impulses to function correctly, and these impulses are regulated by thyroid hormones. A decrease in thyroid hormones can cause hoarseness, changes in voice tone, and difficulty speaking.

Swelling in the Neck

If you notice swelling in the neck or a visible enlargement of the thyroid gland, it could be due to hypothyroidism. This condition is known as goiter and is common in people with iodine deficiency and untreated hypothyroidism.

The Impact of Hypothyroidism on Women’s Health

Women are more likely to develop hypothyroidism than men, and they can experience symptoms that are specific to their gender. These include:

Menstrual Irregularities

As we’ve mentioned earlier, hypothyroidism can cause hormonal imbalances leading to menstrual irregularities, heavy bleeding, and pain. Women who are experiencing other symptoms such as fatigue, depression, or weight gain along with menstrual irregularities should consider undergoing thyroid function tests.

Infertility and Miscarriage

Undiagnosed or untreated hypothyroidism can impact fertility and increase the risk of miscarriage. Studies have shown that hypothyroidism is associated with a higher risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, and developmental delays in infants.


Women who enter menopause may experience a decline in thyroid hormone production, leading to various symptoms such as weight gain, depression, and fatigue. It’s crucial to undergo regular thyroid function testing during menopause and discuss any symptoms with your healthcare provider.

The Mental Health Consequences of Hypothyroidism: Understanding the Link

Untreated hypothyroidism can lead to mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. This happens because thyroid hormones play a crucial role in regulating brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine that impact our mood and emotions.

Suppose you’re experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, such as prolonged sadness, poor concentration, or difficulty sleeping. In that case, it’s crucial to discuss these symptoms with your healthcare provider and undergo thyroid function tests to rule out hypothyroidism.

Managing Your Hypothyroidism: How to Recognize Symptoms, Get Diagnosed, and Start Treatment

If you suspect that you have hypothyroidism, there are several steps you can take to manage your condition effectively. These include:

Recognize the Symptoms

Being aware of the common symptoms of hypothyroidism and any other specific symptoms that you may experience is crucial to getting diagnosed and starting treatment early.

Get Diagnosed

Undergoing thyroid function tests such as TSH, T3, and T4 tests can confirm the diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Your doctor may also perform additional tests such as an ultrasound or a biopsy to determine the underlying cause of your hypothyroidism.

Start Treatment

Treatment for hypothyroidism usually involves taking thyroid hormone replacement medication, such as levothyroxine. The dosage and the duration of the treatment will depend on the severity of the condition and individual factors such as age, weight, and underlying health conditions. Your healthcare provider will monitor your progress through regular thyroid function tests.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes such as following a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management techniques can complement medication and improve thyroid function. It’s crucial to discuss any lifestyle changes with your healthcare provider before starting them.


Hypothyroidism is a common condition that can lead to a wide range of symptoms and complications when left untreated. Recognizing the symptoms early and seeking medical help is essential to managing this condition. It’s also crucial to undergo regular thyroid function tests, especially if you’re a woman or have a family history of thyroid disorders. Through medication, lifestyle changes, and consistent management, hypothyroidism can be controlled, and individuals can lead healthy lives.

By Riddle Reviewer

Hi, I'm Riddle Reviewer. I curate fascinating insights across fields in this blog, hoping to illuminate and inspire. Join me on this journey of discovery as we explore the wonders of the world together.

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