There are several endocrine glands in our body which release enzymes for the normal functioning of our body. One of the most important, of these endocrine glands, is thyroid gland. The enzymes released from it are T3, T4 and calcitonin which are responsible for many important functions; metabolism and maintenance of calcium level are the primary ones. As its functioning is that important, many signs of thyroid gland malfunction appear in a person.
Thyroid enlargement is one of the many signs of thyroid gland malfunction. It happens both in hypo and hyperthyroidism. Due to this enlargement one can experience some discomfort in throat and coughing in severe cases. If the enlargement reaches the vocal cords it may lead to hoarseness of voice.
Hair falls along with skin changes:
Increased hair fall is one of the signs of thyroid gland malfunction. In both hypo and hyperthyroidism hair become dry and course and falls of easily. The skin of scalp and other parts of the body also becomes coarse, thick, dry and scaly.
Changes in bowl habits:
Signs of thyroid gland malfunction include both constipation and diarrhea. Long term constipation is associated with hypothyroidism while hyperthyroidism causes diarrhea and irritable bowl syndrome. For the proper diagnosis of thyroid malfunction, knowledge of patients bowl habits can play a crucial role.
Effects on heart beat:
As thyroid is responsible for maintaining metabolism, increased or decreased heart rate due to disturbed metabolism is one of the signs of thyroid gland malfunction. This long term disturbed heart rate, if left untreated can lead to heart failure.
Depression and anxiety are one of the most irritating signs of thyroid gland malfunction. Un-responsive depression to the anti-depressants is caused mostly by hypothyroidism while
anxiety and panic attacks are associated with hyperthyroidism. Patient may feel at the edge all the time and may also experience nervous tremors.
Irregularities in menstrual cycle are one of the signs of thyroid malfunction in female. Heavy more frequent periods are associated with hypothyroidism while light infrequent periods are the sign of hyperthyroidism. Pain is also associated with menstruation.
Weight changes/ belly bloat:
One of the leading signs of thyroid gland malfunction is rapid weight loss in hyperthyroidism due to excessive metabolism or weight gain specially gain of abdominal fat in hypothyroidism due to lack of metabolism.
Infertility and birth defects:
Hyperthyroidism is one of the causes of female infertility. It interferes with the ability to conceive. Even if a female with malfunctioning thyroid is able to conceive, the child born will have many birth defects such as brain heart or kidney problems.
Malfunctioning thyroid is prone to leave you tired and sluggish. It also causes mental fog. Patients tend to forget things easily. Hyperthyroidism may also cause insomnia contributing to the patient’s sluggish feeling.
A person having malfunctioning thyroid will have painful muscles and joints due to disturbed calcium homeostasis.
Some of the other signs of thyroid gland malfunction includes: heat or cold intolerance, excessive sweating and fluid retention.