What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Underactive Thyroid Disease?

Hypothyroidism is a condition of the thyroid not producing enough thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T-3). An underactive thyroid is the result of the pituitary gland releasing too much thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), therefore causing the thyroid to not produce enough thyroid hormones. The lack of thyroid hormone can cause an array of symptoms.

Woman examining her throat area
Woman examining her throat area (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

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Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain or the inability to lose weight. Cold intolerance or feeling cold in moderate climates is a symptom of metabolic difficulty.

On the scale
On the scale (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Skin, Hair and Nails

The skin may be pale, dry and coarse. Hair tends to be dry and brittle with breakage. Nails may also be brittle and break easily.

Finger nails
Finger nails (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)


Fatigue and weakness are common in hypothyroid suffers, especially in the morning.

Trying to wake up
Trying to wake up (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Menstrual and Fertility

Heavier, more frequent, painful, and long periods can signal that the thyroid is not functioning as normal. Miscarriages and infertility are connected to hypothyroidism.

Menstrual cramping
Menstrual cramping (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)


You may find that you are no longer mentally alert and are forgetful. Depression and irritability are commonly connected with hypothyroidism.

Somber woman
Somber woman (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Muscle and Joint Pains

Muscles may be stiff, weak and ache. Joints can be swollen and painful. You may have difficulty swallowing and feel as if you have a lump in your throat.

Joint pain
Joint pain (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)


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