11 August, 2021
How to find out if we have alterations in thyroid function?
Many times we wonder if the thyroid gland is working well for us. Faced with this doubt, we receive confusing information about what it is and about the consequences of suffering alterations in thyroid function. For physicians who deal with thyroid diseases, discerning this can be easy at times, but for the patient who is at home and has unspecific discomfort and symptoms, taking the step to visit their thyroid specialist may be a difficult decision.
From a practical point of view, there are some symptoms and signs, which without being definitively diagnostic can help to make this decision.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ALTERATIONS IN THYROID FUNCTION
Las alteraciones hormonales provocadas por los problemas de tiroides pueden afectar el plano emocional. Si, de repente, sin justificación alguna una persona empieza a sentir angustia, tendencia a la depresión y cambios inexplicables de humor, posiblemente el cuerpo esté enviando señales de alerta de problemas del tiroides.
When a previously healthy patient suddenly begins to notice muscular ailments, joint or tendon discomfort, especially in the extremities and without having made excessive physical efforts or sports, we could think that it is a sign of the presence of alterations in function thyroid.
Sex and fertility
It is known that hormonal alterations produce menstrual alterations and infertility in young women. In the case of thyroid hormone, it is absolutely proven. It should also be added that hypothyroidism causes a decrease in lividity that in some cases can lead to absolute sexual loss of appetite.
Fatigue and tiredness
The thyroid plays an important role in regulating the intensity of physical activity. If, despite sleeping 7-8 hours a day, a patient feels excessively tired (with respect to the activity they usually develop) or with the inescapable need to take a nap, it is highly recommended that their thyroid hormone levels be determined, since this is a very common manifestation of hypothyroidism.
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Weight gain or loss
There is widespread controversy regarding the role of the thyroid gland in regulating body weight. While it is true that it is responsible for regulating the activity of metabolism, which is the process by which the body burns calories. Faced with a sudden and inexplicable increase or decrease in weight, it is essential to determine thyroid hormone levels, since its excess or deficiency sometimes leads to said symptoms.
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The thyroid is part of the complex metabolism that helps regulate body temperature. The thyroid hormone, being one of those responsible for maintaining adequate heat for our body. Suddenly feeling cold hands or feet, as well as the rest of the body, intermittently for a period of time, when it did not happen before, can be an indication that we are suffering from alterations in thyroid function.
Alterations in the skin, hair and nails
It is widely studied that hypothyroidism produces alterations in the skin, hair and nails. This knowledge is based on the recommendation to go to your thyroid specialist if you notice drier skin than usual, a progressive inexplicable hair loss with weakening and loss of hair thickness, as well as cracking in the nails. The rapid establishment of an adequate treatment will avoid the chronification of these manifestations.
When there is a decrease in the hormonal activity of the thyroid gland, all body processes slow down and some organs have difficulties to properly perform their functions. This is the case of digestive functions, which can present problems to properly absorb nutrients from food, as well as difficulty in eliminating waste through the digestive tract, producing severe constipation without evidence of another associated disease.
At the extreme ages of life, childhood or old age, attention and concentration problems can occur that are related to learning disorders or associated with cardiovascular diseases. But except for these age groups, its appearance is very rare. Often, people with thyroid problems (both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism) complain of not having a good memory and having difficulty concentrating, even suffering from neglect that is difficult to explain. All this is referred to in a progressive way and in a short period of time. This may be due to decreased or excess production of thyroid hormones.
The thyroid gland can enlarge until it is visible to the naked eye. When this happens, problems such as a sore throat, hoarseness, malaise, choking, swelling in the neck or snoring when lying down can occur.