Thyroid Disease (cont.)
Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C)
Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C) is an Attending Physician with the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Associate Director of Clinical Research, Recruitment and Phenotyping with the Center for Androgen Related Disorders, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Introduction to thyroid disease
- Thyroid 101: What is the thyroid and what does it do?
- What types of thyroid disease can occur when the function of the thyroid is affected?
- What signs and symptoms can occur if thyroid function is affected?
- What types of thyroid disease can occur when the structure of the thyroid is affected?
- What signs and symptoms can occur if thyroid structure is affected?
- How is the diagnosis of thyroid disease made?
- What is the treatment for thyroid disease?
- What is the outlook for someone with a thyroid disease?
- Thyroid Disease At A Glance
- Thyroid FAQs
- Find a local Endocrinologist in your town
What signs and symptoms can occur if thyroid function is affected?
If the thyroid is under-active, symptoms of hypothyroidism may occur. The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism vary widely, depending on the severity of hormone deficiency. Some of the complaints experienced by patient's with hypothyroidism include:
- mental fogginess and forgetfulness
- feeling excessively cold
- dry skin
- fluid retention
- non specific aches and stiffness in muscles and joints
- excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
Hyperthyroidism is suggested by a number of signs and symptoms. Patients with mild disease usually experience no symptoms. In patients older than 70 years of age, the classical manifestations may also be absent. In general, the symptoms become more obvious as the condition worsens. The symptoms are usually related to an increase in body metabolism. Common symptoms are listed below:
- Excessive sweating
- Heat intolerance
- Increased bowel movements
- Tremor (usually a fine shake)
- Nervousness; agitation
- Rapid heart rate
- Weight loss
- Decreased concentration
- Irregular and scant menstrual flow
In older patients, irregular heart rhythms and heart failure can occur. In its most severe form, untreated hyperthyroidism may result in "thyroid storm," a condition involving high blood pressure, fever, and heart failure. Mental changes such as confusion and delirium may also occur. In Graves' disease, there may be eye changes and skin changes in addition to the other findings listed above.
Viewers share their comments
- Submit »
Find out what women really need.