Did you know that more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime? Around 20 million Americans currently have some form of thyroid disease with up to 60 percent of them unknowingly having thyroid problems. Could you be one of them? Here are some red flags that indicate your thyroid is haywire.
Weight gain or weight loss
Thyroid problems can wreak havoc on your metabolism and can cause unexplainable weight gain or weight loss. Weight gain is linked to hypothyroidism, where the thyroid is not working enough, and weight loss is linked to hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid is working overtime.
Is it the afternoon crash or constant fatigue that’s making you reach for that second or third cup of coffee? Constant and extreme fatigue is a big sign that your thyroid is on the fritz.
It could be age that’s making you more sensitive to heat or cold, or it could be your thyroid telling you that something is up. Oversensitivity to heat or cold means it’s time to reevaluate your health and ask your doctor about your thyroid.
Changes in menstruation
Women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to have thyroid problems and this shows up when aunt Flo comes into town. Menstrual periods might be extremely heavy or almost absent, so if your periods start becoming erratic, pay attention to other changes in your body and consider getting your thyroid checked out.
If you feel like your heartbeat is too fast, with palpitations at times, that might be your thyroid producing way too much hormones. Slowed heart rate is a sign that your thyroid is sluggish. If you think you might have thyroid problems, it’s worth paying closer attention to your heartbeat.
Changes in breathing
One major thing that is affected by the hormones the thyroid produces, is breathing. If you’re experiencing any difficulty or difference in your breathing, it may very well be linked to problems with your thyroid.
The previous factors are only some of the red flags that your thyroid is out of whack. If you suspect problems are happening with your thyroid, ask your doctor to get tested.
Yumhee Park is a former content producer for HealthCentral.com.