Hypothyroidism: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

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.

Related Symptoms & Signs

Other hypothyroidism symptoms and signs

  • Blurred Vision
  • Coarse Hair
  • Cold Intolerance (Increased Sensitivity to Cold)
  • Constipation
  • Decreased Hearing
  • Decreased Sweating
  • Depression
  • Dry Hair
  • Dry Skin
  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness (Impaired Memory)
  • Hair Loss
  • Hoarseness
  • Lowered Body Temperature
  • Menstrual Changes
  • Mood Changes
  • Muscle Aches
  • Neck Pain
  • Puffiness Around the Eyes
  • Sleepiness
  • Slow Heart Rate
  • Swelling in the Legs
  • Thyroid Gland Enlargement
  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Weight Gain

Next Article
Orlander, Philip R. "Hypothyroidism." Medscape. Mar. 16, 2017. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/122393-overview>.