Symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism may be subtle and nonspecific, so they may not always clearly signal a thyroid problem. Sometimes, the patient may not notice specific symptoms related to hypothyroidism. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, depression, mild weight gain, cold intolerance, sleepiness, and constipation. Other symptoms can include dry and coarse hair, dry skin, and muscle cramps. Blood cholesterol levels may be elevated. Patients with hypothyroidism may also report aches and pains, swelling in the legs, and difficulty concentrating. Menstrual dysfunction, hair loss, decreased sweating, decreased appetite, mood changes, blurred vision, and hearing impairment are also possible symptoms. Later symptoms (when the condition worsens) can include puffiness around the eyes, slow heart rate, lowered body temperature, and heart failure.
Causes of hypothyroidism
In the U.S., the most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Other common causes include lymphocytic thyroiditis (which may occur after hyperthyroidism), thyroid destruction (from radioactive iodine used as hyperthyroidism treatment or thyroid surgery), and pituitary or hypothalamic diseases.
Other hypothyroidism symptoms and signs
- Blurred Vision
- Coarse Hair
- Cold Intolerance (Increased Sensitivity to Cold)
- Decreased Hearing
- Decreased Sweating
- Dry Hair
- Dry Skin
- Forgetfulness (Impaired Memory)
- Hair Loss
- Lowered Body Temperature
- Menstrual Changes
- Mood Changes
- Muscle Aches
- Neck Pain
- Puffiness Around the Eyes
- Slow Heart Rate
- Swelling in the Legs
- Thyroid Gland Enlargement
- Trouble Concentrating
- Weight Gain
Main Article on Hypothyroidism Symptoms and Signs
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Metabolism Quiz: What is Metabolism?
Would you know if there were something wrong with your metabolism? At what age does metabolism begin to slow? Take the mystery...
The 14 Most Common Causes of Fatigue
Always feeling tired? Learn more about the causes of fatigue. Get tips to relieve symptoms of fatigue. Feel less tired and start...
Thyroid Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Your unexplained change in weight could indicate a thyroid condition. Take the Thyroid Quiz to learn about common symptoms and...
Your Thyroid: Common Thyroid Problems and Diseases Explained
Learn about thyroid problems such as hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid cancer, and more. Discover symptoms and treatments...
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter