Strange weight changes
Because the thyroid gland regulates metabolism, too much thyroid hormone causes the general “speeding up” of bodily functions, explains the American Thyroid Association (ATA). So it makes sense that if you’re experiencing unexpected weight loss, hyperthyroidism could be to blame. On the other end of the spectrum, if the number on your bathroom scale is going up, the increase could be caused by hypothyroidism, which causes the slowing of bodily processes. “Usually the weight gain isn’t a matter of obesity; it’s in the range of five to 15 pounds,” explains Leonard Wartofsky, MD, MACP, professor of medicine at Georgetown University and past president of the Endocrine Society. “So slow, progressive, modest weight gain could raise suspicions.” Here are the hidden dangers of a “normal” thyroid.
Feeling sluggish and sleepy
If you’ve been tired and “blah” despite adequate sleep, an underactive thyroid might be the reason. “Fatigue is the number one symptom I see,” integrative medicine specialist Robin Miller, MD, told Health. “It’s the kind of fatigue where you’re still tired in the morning after a full night’s sleep—that’s a clue that you’re not simply sleep deprived; your thyroid may be underactive.” Dr. Wartofsky adds that patients with overactive thyroid can experience a different kind of fatigue. “With hyperthyroidism, it’s a feeling of being worn out—of running on a hamster wheel and feeling exhausted.”