TIPS TO DISCUSS SYMPTOMS
WITH YOUR DOCTOR

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Your thyroid can affect many parts of your body

Hypothyroidism can be diagnosed by a doctor with a TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test and an evaluation of your symptoms. Symptoms of hypothyroidism may be general, such as tiredness and constipation, and can often be confused with other health conditions. Symptoms usually appear slowly, over several months or years. No one can predict exactly which symptoms a person will develop or how severe the symptoms will be. Some people have many symptoms by the time they are diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Others have few, if any, symptoms. Because the symptoms are so variable, it’s important to talk with your doctor about your symptoms and to have a TSH test.

Here are some common symptoms* to look out for:

Tiredness

Weight gain due to fluid retention

Low energy

Increased sensitivity to cold

Brittle fingernails and hair

Hair loss

Dry, rough, pale skin

Constipation

Muscle and joint pain

Heavy menstrual bleeding
or irregular periods

Muscle weakness

Hoarse voice

Puffy face

Swollen legs, ankles, or feet

Difficulty thinking and focusing

Feeling down or depressed

Trouble remembering things

Slower speech or movement

Swollen thyroid gland


*This is not a comprehensive list of symptoms.

KEEPING A RECORD OF YOUR SYMPTOMS

Keep in mind that just because you may have some of the above symptoms, it doesn’t mean you have hypothyroidism. Listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, be sure to make a note of it. Keep a record of any symptoms you might be experiencing and let the doctor know about them at your next scheduled visit.

The Symptom Profiler can help you record your symptoms. Remember, everyone is different. Some people with hypothyroidism experience only a few mild symptoms, or sometimes, no symptoms at all. If you think you might have hypothyroidism, talk with your doctor. He or she will be able to give you a proper diagnosis. But realize that even after proper diagnosis and care plan, it’s important to maintain a partnership with your doctor.

USE THE SYMPTOM
PROFILER

Checking
your neck

5 steps to check your thyroid:

Step 1: Hold the mirror in your hand, focusing on the lower front area of your neck, above the collarbone and below the voice box. Your thyroid gland is located in this area of your neck

Step 1

Hold the mirror in your hand, focusing on the lower front area of your neck, above the collarbone and below the voice box. Your thyroid gland is located in this area of your neck.

Step 2: While focusing on this area in the mirror, tip your head back

Step 2

While focusing on this area in the mirror, tip your head back.

Step 3: Take a drink of water and swallow

Step 3

Take a drink of water and swallow.

Step 4: As you swallow, look at your neck. Check for any bumps or bulges in this area when you swallow. Don’t confuse the Adam’s apple with the thyroid gland

Step 4

As you swallow, look at your neck. Check for any bumps or bulges in this area when you swallow. You may want to repeat this process several times.

Reminder:

Don’t confuse the Adam’s apple with the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located further down in the neck, closer to the collarbone.

Step 5: If you see any bulges or nodules in this area, speak to your doctor as a follow-up. Describe the self-exam that you’ve completed as well as your observations. The physician will perform a more comprehensive exam

Step 5

If you see any bulges or nodules in this area, speak to your doctor as a follow-up. Describe the self-exam that you’ve completed as well as your observations. The physician will perform a more comprehensive exam.