Symptoms of Low Thyroid

Symptoms of low thyroid include significant fatigue, lethargy, sluggishness, or history of low thyroid at an earlier age. 

Some low thyroid sufferers have just one symptom or physical sign, with no other findings. The proof of low thyroid is often revealed in how you feel once you take corrective measures. 


Self-Assessing Low Thyroid

The following is a list of low thyroid symptoms, conditions, and additional signs of low thyroid. 

Take this symptoms of low thyroid self-assessment to see if you should receive further testing, or a trial of thyroid hormone, regardless of thyroid test results. 

Symptoms of Low Thyroid

1. Additional Symptoms of Low Thyroid

Do you have… 

  • Experience a significant amount of fatigue, lethargy, or feeling of sluggishness


  • Decreased sweating even with mild exercise


  • Chronic recurrent infections


  • Constipation despite adequate fiber and liquids in your diet


  • Hoarseness for no particular reason


  • High cholesterol despite good diet


  • Red face with exercise


  • A tendency to slow or heat up, even in a sauna


  • Brittle nails that crack or break easily


  • Mood swings, especially anxiety, panic, or phobia


  • Mild choking sensation or difficulty swallowing


  • Gum problems


  • Unusually low sex drive


  • Irregular menses, PMS, ovarian cysts, endometriosis


  • Depression, to the point of being a bothersome problem


  • Accelerated worsening of eyesight or hearing


  • Major weight gain


  • Skin problems such as acne, eczema, or severe dry skin


  • Excessive menopause symptoms, not well relieved with estrogen


  • Difficulty in drawing a full breath, for no apparent reason


  • Palpitations or uncomfortably noticeable heartbeat


  • Feeling off balance


  • Problems with memory, focus, or concentration


  • Difficulty maintaining stamina throughout the day


  • Infertility


  • Vague and mild annoying chest discomfort, unrelated to exercise


  • Annoying burning sensations that come and go


  • More than normal amounts of hair come out in the brush or shower


  • Difficulty maintaining standard weight with a sensible food intake


  • The experience of being colder than other people around you

2. Symptoms of Low Thyroid Related Conditions

Have you ever had… 

  • Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus, biliary cirrhosis, sarcoidosis, Sjogren’s syndrome, scleroderma, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, thrombocytopenia, ulcerative colitis


  • Anemia, especially the B12 deficiency type


  • Premature gray hair


  • Mitral valve prolapse


  • Dyslexia


  • Persistent unusual visual images


  • Raynaud’s syndrome (white or blue discoloration of fingers or toes when cold)


  • Rapid cycle bipolar disorder (manic depressive illness)


  • Neck injury, such as whiplash or blunt trauma


  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD)


  • Calcium deficiency


  • Carpal tunnel syndrome


  • Atrial fibrillation


  • Persistent tendinitis or bursitis


  • Vitiligo (persistent large white patches on skin)


  • Alopecia (losing hair, especially in discrete patches)


3. Family History


Checking your family history and their low thyroid symptoms can help assess low thyroid problems.

Have your blood relatives ever had… 

  • High or low thyroid or thyroid goiter


  • Diabetes


  • Premature gray hair


  • Lupus


  • Complete or partial left-handedness


  • Sarcoidosis


  • Biliary cirrhosis


  • Sjogren’s syndrome


  • Rheumatoid arthritis


  • Myasthenia gravis


  • Crohn’s disease


  • Multiple sclerosis


  • Thrombocytopenia (decrease blood platelets)


  • Ulcerative colitis


4. Physical Signs and Symptoms of Low Thyroid


Have you or your doctor observed any of the following… 

  • Low basal temperature in early morning (average of less than 97.6 degrees over 7 days)


  • Swelling of the face


  • Muscle weakness


  • Swelling of feet


  • Thick tongue (seemingly too big for the mouth)


  • Slow movements, slow speech, slow reaction time


  • Excess ear wax


  • Noticeably cool skin


  • Loss of outer one-third of eyebrows


  • Excessively dry or excessively coarse skin


  • Decrease color or lips or yellowing of skin


  • Swelling at base of neck (enlarged thyroid gland)


  • Especially low blood pressure


  • Asymmetry, lumpiness, or other irregularity of thyroid gland


  • Swelling of eyelids or bags under eyes


  • Dry mouth or dry eyes


  • Decreased ankle reflexes or normal reflexes with slow recovery phase


  • Noticeably slow pulse rate without having exercised regularly

Scoring Your Symptoms of Low Thyroid Self Assessment

For category 1:
5 points for significant fatigue, 1 point for each additional “yes” 

For category 2:
5 points for autoimmune illness, 1 point for each additional “yes” 

For category 3:
5 points for having blood relatives with symptoms of thyroid problems, 1 point for each additional “yes” 

For category 4:
5 points for low basal temperature, 1 point for each additional “yes” 


Add up your total points…


Add up together all the points from all the categories. The following are possible actions to take for symptoms of low thyroid. 

5 points…
Only mildly indicative of low thyroid

Possible Action:
Care and feeding of the thyroid gland 

10 points…
somewhat suspicious for low thyroid

Possible Action:
Obtain TSH level as first screening test 

15 points…
very suspicious for low thyroid

Possible Action:
If TSH is normal, obtain additional screening tests 

20 points…
likely to be low thyroid

Possible Action:
Obtain all possible blood testing to help confirm a diagnosis 

25 points or more…
very likely to be low thyroid

Possible Action:
Obtain a trial of thyroid medicine, regardless of blood test results 


› Symptoms of Low Thyroid

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