5. Frozen Shoulder
Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, refers to pain and stiffness in the shoulder area. It occurs when the connective tissue that surrounds the bones, ligaments and tendons of the shoulder joint thickens and becomes inflamed, ultimately causing it to contract and create scar tissue. Though the reason is unclear, a link has been found between endocrine conditions such as thyroid disease and musculoskeletal disorders such as frozen shoulder.
Frozen shoulder, so painful… – Kathy S.
Gall stones, joint pain, frozen shoulder, migraines and palpitations. – Sandy L.
6. Brain Fog
People with thyroid disorders may experience cognitive dysfunction, commonly referred to as “brain fog.” This can include difficulties with concentration, lack of focus or mental alertness, and lapses in short-term memory. Brain fog may affect your ability to think, remember and communicate verbally.
Brain fog is a big one for me. I can forget the most basic things some days. – Heather C.
Memory. My short-term memory is awful. I can have a conversation and five minutes later totally forget what we said. – Rebecca D.
7. Persistent Cough
Frequent coughing and feeling like you need to clear your throat can be symptoms of thyroid nodules or lumps in the thyroid gland. Coughing usually occurs if the nodules are on the backside of the gland, where they can irritate the trachea or vocal cord nerve. Thyroid nodules can also cause uncomfortable pressure on your breathing tube, the sensation that you need to swallow something, difficulty swallowing, or a lump in your neck that you can see or feel. Only about 30 percent of thyroid nodules cause symptoms such as coughing.
Some studies have also found a link between respiratory issues, including coughing, and hypothyroidism, but more research is needed.
I had a chronic cough that wouldn’t go away for years. Six doctors couldn’t diagnose it. It finally went away when I started taking thyroid medication for hypothyroidism. I guess my thyroid was slightly swollen and made me cough constantly, like a smokers’ cough, even though I have never smoked a day in my life. – Liberty W.
8. Facial Flushing
Thyroid disease can affect just about any part of the body – including the skin. People with hyperthyroidism may experience increased blood flow and blood vessel widening in their extremities, which can cause the face to flush and the palms to turn red (also called palmar erythema). On the other hand, people with hypothyroidism may experience the opposite and have skin that is dry, cold or pale due to a decrease in blood flow.
Hot flashes at odd times, having to layer all the time to have appropriate clothing no matter what, flushing beet red during any exercise as well as sweating buckets with exertion. – Julbug83
Oh flushing! Always at night. My cheeks and nose turn red and my face gets super hot. Weird. – Stefanie R.G.
9. Heart Problems
Since the T3 and T4 hormones produced by the thyroid gland help regulate automatic bodily function such as heart rate, too much or too little of these hormones can result in heart problems. Hypothyroidism can cause a decreased heart rate, increased blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels. Hyperthyroidism can cause an increased heart rate (which may trigger abnormal heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation or palpitations), increased blood pressure, chest pain or angina.
Heart palpitations! Very scary!! I thankfully do not have them anymore… because of my amazing doctor. – Terry B.
With my hypothyroidism, cardiac symptoms like palpitations and tachycardia I had no idea about. Until blood tests revealed it was my thyroid playing up again. – Tasha L.
10. Hoarse Voice
According to The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, “any sort of thyroidal disruption can influence speech, ability to breath, and even swallowing.” Thyroid hormones have a big impact on the voice, and a consistently hoarse voice can be indicative of hypothyroidism. This occurs because the deficiency of thyroid hormones interferes with the development of the larynx, or voice box, which can impair vocal quality.
Thyroid nodules and goiters can also cause hoarseness or loss of your voice if they expand enough to compress the larynx and alter your speech.
Nearly every medical professional I see comments on how hoarse and raspy my voice is. I’ve had multiple doctors try and diagnose me with laryngitis or give me a strep test when I feel absolutely fine, I just sound like a man. It’s hard to explain to friends and family this is just how I’ve always sounded. – ckhill
A raspy voice. I have cysts on my thyroid and my voice constantly cracks and quivers. Sometimes I’ll be in the middle of a sentence and my voice becomes high pitched, hoarse or I’ll have trouble getting the words out. Other times people can’t understand what I’m saying because of my voice quivering or being so hoarse. No amount of water or tea can fix it. – ella66
11. Skin Issues
Thyroid disease can cause a wide range of skin issues, which can serve as visible indicators that your thyroid levels aren’t quite right. People with hypothyroidism tend to have dry, pale and cool skin that may be flaky and itchy. Some may experience myxedema, a severe form of hypothyroidism that typically occurs when the condition is left untreated. Myxedema often causes the skin to become red, swollen and puffy. Hypothyroidism is also one cause of acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition that causesvelvety, dark markings in the folds of the skin.
Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, may cause your skin to feel moist, velvety and warm, and your face and palms might be redder due to flushing. An overactive thyroid can also lead to skin thinning. People with Graves’ disease may develop Graves’ dermopathy, which causes redness and swelling, often on the shins and feet.
Rash on my chest and neck, itchy skin (skin changes), ringing in my ears, vertigo, puffy eyes… – Stefanie R.G.
Dry cracked feet that hurt to walk on after a day of standing on my feet. Thick callous on the balls of my feet. Dry flaking skin on my legs. – Denise B.
Acute, painful skin rash. – Marissa L.
12. Mood Swings
Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause mood changes due to fluctuations in your hormone levels. Those with hypothyroidism may be prone to depression, low mood and anxiety, while those with hyperthyroidism may experience anxiety, restlessness and irritability.
I have Hashimoto’s and bipolar disorder. I have struggled with the fact that my fluctuating TSH levels affect my moods independent of my mood disorder! It is always surprising when doctors aren’t familiar with this symptom. – Laura O.
13. Fertility Issues
Thyroid disease can affect fertility in both men and women. Hyperthyroidism can cause women to experience lighter, irregular periods and may result in a reduced sperm count for men. If your hyperthyroidism is not well managed, this can also increase the risk of miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy. Women with hypothyroidism may have longer and heavier periods or their periods may stop completely. It is important to tell your doctor if you become pregnant, as your medication dosages may need to be adjusted.
I was shocked to learn that my three miscarriages could very well have been due to my thyroid disease! – Donna-Jean I.
Infertility, took five years and hardcore dieting and exercise in 2018 to get to a weight that my [medication] dosage actually worked enough to get my hormones level enough to get pregnant. – Kellie W.
14. Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy refers to symptoms of muscle weakness, numbness, pain or tingling that occur due to nerve damage – often in the hands and feet. A number of conditions can cause nerve damage, including hypothyroidism. An underactive thyroid often lowers your body temperature, which can lead to fluid retention. This results in swollen tissues that put pressure on peripheral nerves, causing an array of symptoms. Carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist is a common area for people with hypothyroidism to experience peripheral neuropathy.
Leg and arm pain. I get horrible cramp like pain in my forearms especially. That is my first sign I need to go have my levels checked, and likely my thyroid replacement med upped. It’s pain so bad it makes me feel nauseous. Never heard anyone else talk about it. But, it goes away once I get my levels back on track. – Jessi M.
Peripheral neuropathy – my feet kept getting put down to plantar fasciitis, turns out it’s tarsal tunnel syndrome… Kept bringing up my carpal tunnel being worse and now in both arms. That’s been put down to an injury years ago. The injury was on one forearm. Both sides affected. – Rachael D