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Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a type of hormone deficiency that can show up in a number of ways. It can be found in men, women, and children. However, it is difficult to diagnose in children as it is a disease that can oftentimes go unnoticed for years. Hypothyroidism becomes more severe with age. The following symptoms may not be noticeable at first, though will continue to become readily apparent over time if left untreated. Identifying these symptoms and having them treated as early as possible can help to prevent the development of severe symptoms or problems. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it is essential that you visit your doctor straight away.

Most Common Hypothyroid Symptoms

While it's possible that a case of hypothyroidism can be so minor as to have no symptoms, it is likely that symptoms will eventually become noticeable over time. Some of the more common symptoms tend to include a general feeling of lethargy, which can manifest itself in a sluggishness wherein your body feels weak and tired. You may find that this causes you to move slower than expected, as well as leading to a slowed heart rate.

Constipation may also occur, though this is often associated with a number of other conditions. A lengthy menstrual period that can last up to a week may show up in female patients. Some of the more visible symptoms include everything from dry and cold skin to thinning hair and a slightly yellowish tint in the skin. Finger-nails may also become more brittle over time as symptoms become more severe.

Occasional Symptoms of Basic Hypothyroidism

There are also a few symptoms that aren't quite as common as others but may point towards hypothyroidism. A small weight gain can occur, though this symptom may be difficult to detect. Typical muscle aches and pains as well as swelling of arms and legs can also be symptoms of the disease.

Symptoms for Hypothyroidism in Younger Patients

Because symptoms for hypothyroidism become more apparent with age, it is rare for a younger child to display noticeable signs of the disease. However, advanced cases of hypothyroidism in children do exist. The symptoms that will arise in younger children and teenagers primarily involve a delay in a variety of developmental areas, including mental development, puberty, and slower body growth. Aside from this, younger patients may still experience the same symptoms that take place in older men and women.


Although exceedingly rare, myxedema is by far the most severe form of hypothyroidism condition and can ultimately lead to patients entering a coma or even death. Thankfully, the symptoms for myxedema are relatively easy to notice, particularly in comparison to the subtler symptoms that show up with less severe cases of hypothyroidism. The primary symptoms for myxedema include breathing difficulties, low blood pressure, and body temperature, as well as general unresponsiveness and lethargy. It is also noted by mucus- like skin deposits and swelling of the skin and tissues, particularly in the lower legs and behind the eyes. These symptoms will need to be treated immediately upon identification.

Last Updated: March 09, 2016