Bizarre Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Have you ever experienced a cluster of symptoms and thought ‘oh my god what is wrong with me’ or something along those lines. Well to be honest, there’s a good chance that it could be related to your thyroid.

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located near the throat that controls just about every function in the body, from energy levels to pooping (yes I said it, pooping)! A normal, functioning thyroid signals the release of the correct amount of hormones, TSH, T3 and T4. However, an ‘underactive’ thyroid does not signal for enough of these hormones whereas an ‘overactive’ thyroid signals for too much production.

Each of these conditions can progress to more severe problems! Whilst many people who suffer from an underactive thyroid or Hashimoto’s would love to have a bit of the overactive thyroid from time to time (increased energy levels, weight loss etc), an overactive thyroid can actually place great stress on the heart and eventually burns out into an underactive thyroid anyway.

I suffer from Hashimoto’s, which is the autoimmune disease whereby the thyroid gland is attacked by your own immune system, leading to worsened symptoms of an underactive thyroid. Both underactive and overactive thyroid have unique, and often bizarre, symptoms.

Given these conditions are often not acknowledged by traditional western doctors, they are mostly left untreated or passed off as something else. Thankfully, through the help of a good nutritional doctor, my body is replaced, via T3 only therapy, and therefore able to function like a normal person (for most of the time, anyway).

Autoimmune diseases like to attack in what are called ‘flare-ups’; which are where your symptoms return and worsen for a few days. These attacks can be brought on by a number of things like eating gluten, sugar or legumes, stress, changes in weather, poor sleep or late nights, alcohol and many other things!

Basically, if you experience even the slightest change in your daily routine, you can experience a flare up! But, for the most time, I don’t experience many of the symptoms I had prior to medication! Anyway, I have put together a list of the weird and wacky symptoms that are common to underactive thyroids as well as its progression to Hashi’s!

Underactive Thyroid Symptoms

The symptoms of both hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are one and the same and can be virtually silent in the early stages. For me, I lived much of my life thinking my symptoms were just normal, this was how everyone felt! The symptoms can  vary in severity and include:-

  • Decreased stamina
  • Depression
  • Feeling cold all the time
  • Gaining weight easily despite any method used to lose weight (I know people with underactive thyroids who have eaten less than 800 calories a day and still managed to gain weight)!
  • Dry skin and brittle hair
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Poor digestion ie farts!!
  • Brain fog – inability to think clearly
  • Sweet cravings

Hashimoto’s Symptoms

  • Worsening of already existing symptoms
  • Unexplained diarrhea or constipated
  • Intolerances to heat and cold
  • Tightness in the throat
  • Inflammation – can manifest at joint pain, skin conditions or the sort
  • Nodules on the thyroid gland
  • Thinning/loss of eyebrows
  • Puffy face
  • High cholesterol
  • Infertility/menstrual problems
  • High blood glucose progressing to insulin resistance
  • Appetite irregularities (either really hungry or extreme loss of appetite)
  • Feeling extremely satisfied or still hungry after eating
  • Insomnia
  • Sleeping solidly but still waking up tired
  • Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
  • Low body temperature
  • Feeling that you don’t know what to do with yourself
  • Hair loss – arm hair, head hair, hair between the nether regions
  • Easy bruising
  • Burning sensation in the limbs
  • Anaemia
  • Skin sores (can also be internal ie in the nose or mouth)
  • Multiple food intolerances
  • General sluggish feeling
  • Inappropriate weeping (crying at the most inappropriate of times)
  • Balance issues
  • Hypersensitivity to loud noises, bright lights and smells
  • Acne
  • Anti-social feelings – can’t be bothered going out

The symptoms I struggled with in the early stages were weight gain around the belly area (no matter what I did) depression, fatigue and a terrible brain fog, feeling cold all of the time and a very low pulse – 42bpm! (Whilst I am fit I am not a Tour De France cyclist).