Hypothyroidism Symptoms

By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD

Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is a condition of the thyroid gland that affects the production of thyroid hormones, important hormones in the regulation of metabolism. The symptoms of this condition are non-specific and develop slowly, meaning they are often missed or confused with symptoms of another condition. Therefore, the condition sometimes fails to be diagnosed for years.

Some of the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include the following:

  • Generalized fatigue, weakness and lethargy
  • Weight gain
  • Puffy face
  • Swelling in the lower limbs
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Stiffness, tenderness and muscle ache
  • Constipation and dyspepsia (indigestion)
  • Dry skin, thin hair and brittle nails
  • Heavy or irregular periods
  • Depression
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Untreated hypothyroidism may cause the thyroid gland to swell, giving rise to a lump in the neck called a goitre
  • Impaired memory and concentration
  • Swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints
  • Hoarse voice
  • Reduced hearing ability
  • Elevated cholesterol level
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome may develop and cause a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level

Reviewed by , BSc

Further Reading

Last Updated: Nov 5, 2014

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