The symptoms of underactive thyroid
Hypo thyroid symptoms

What are the symptoms of underactive thyroid?
An underactive thyroid is usually referred to as myxodema or hypothyroidism and can be identified by the hypo thyroid symptoms that you will find on this page.

Keep the following in mind as you read through the symptoms of underactive thyroid on this page:

  • While some symptoms are more common than others, not everyone will experience the same symptoms or even to the same degree.
  • If you are experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned on this page, seek help, do not try to self-diagnose or to treat yourself.
  • Thyroid problems can be treated very successfully - you don't need to suffer.

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid that will affect your appearance:

Dry skin, brittle nails and dry, thinning hair:

Your skin will, over time, lose some of its natural oils and become dry and flaky. You will need more moisturizer and your hands will feel dry, no matter how many layers of moisturizer you apply to it. You may develop thickened skin over much-used areas such as elbows, knees and hands.

Hair will become drier, thinner and fall out more than usual. Hair growth will slow down and will become harder to manage. Nail growth will also slow down. Nails may become pale and break more easily.

Your complexion:

Your skin color will be paler than usual with a slightly yellowish undertone due to anemia and excess carotene in your system. Your cheeks will be obviously pink. The pink cheeks combined with a pale complexion are a telltale sign of a hypoactive thyroid.

Weight gain: Symptoms of underactive thyroid

You will gradually gain weight without eating more or even when you are eating less. Your face will fill out and your facial features may seem blurred. The weight gain will mainly be due to fluid retention and you will feel puffy all over.

Slower healing and quick bruising:

Small cuts will take longer to heal and you will continually struggle with overcoming infections. Bruising will happen a lot due to the fragility of the blood vessels.

The inactive thyroid's effects on the brain and nervous system

Constant tiredness, lack of energy and feeling sleepy:

Doing small tasks will seem hard and you may need constant breaks and naps to get through your day. A general slowing down is happening. It takes longer to do simple things and you will feel foggy and less likely to take initiative. You begin to prefer to be a passenger in your own life. Absent-mindedness and forgetfulness occurs more and more.


The symptoms of depression are very close to the symptoms of underactive thyroid and often leads to a miss-diagnosis. Depression sufferers should be tested for thyroid problems and if necessary receive thyroid replacement therapy.

Tingling and numbness:

Due to the swelling of tissue, nerves may become pinched and the result is pins and needles, tingling and numbness in the hands and feet.

Headaches and eye problems:

You may have more headaches than normal and the eyelids are often puffy and sticky in the morning. Night vision might be affected in some cases.

Ear, nose and throat

You will find that you suffer with a slight deafness needing people to speak up and the radio to be turned up a bit louder.
General swelling will thicken the vocal cords and you voice may become husky or even hoarse.
You may have a swollen neck and develop a goitre.
You will start snoring and this can be a source of embarrassment when combined with falling asleep very easily in social circumstances like being at the movies.

Digestive system

Since low thyroid levels means that everything slows down, your bowel movements will also slow down and constipation may become a problem.
You may also lose your appetite, although you may continue gaining weight due to the retention of fluids.

Circulation, heart and lungs

Constantly feeling cold is another of the telltale hypo thyroid symptoms. As circulation slows down, circulation and metabolism slows down leading to feeling cold, especially in the extremities (hands and feet)

Hypo thyroid symptoms Quick movements, such as climbing stairs, may leave you feeling out of breath.
This is caused by the accumulation of fluids around the lungs, a slower heart rate, anemia and excess weight.

Some people may experience short blackouts due to the heart slowing down so much that it can stop briefly before recovering again.
Get medical help immediately if this happens to you.

Muscles and bones

Your muscles and joints may feel stiff, weak and achy as if you have arthritis. You muscles may take longer to recover from movements and you will not be able to be as vigorous as before. This is a hard blow for sportspersons but can be resolved with the correct treatment.

Sexual issues

A hypoactive thyroid can lead to irregular and heavy periods.
Sex may lose its appeal due to feeling tired all the time, headaches and a reduced libido.
Infertility in woman may occur since the ovum may not be released, making falling pregnant impossible while an insufficient sperm production in men will make conceiving very difficult.

Please remember that if you are dealing with an under active thyroid that no-one has all the symptoms of underactive thyroid that are mentioned here. All these symptoms can be temporary and disappear if you successfully undergo thyroid hormone replacement treatment.

Related pages:

What does the thyroid do?
Signs of thyroid problems
Over active thyroid symptoms
Thyroid disease treatment
Thyroid storm symptoms

more Health related pages:

Best colon cleanse  /   Sort incontinence out with Kegel exercises  /   Sore throat treatment  /   What does the thyroid do?  /   Signs of thyroid problems  /   Under active thyroid symptoms  /   Over active thyroid symptoms  /   Thyroid disease treatment  /   Thyroid storm symptoms  /   Osteoporosis overview  /   Symptoms of osteoporosis  /   Living with osteoporosis  /   Osteoporosis risk factors  /   Exercises for osteoporosis  /   Osteoporosis and diet

Mental health:

What is mental health  /   Signs of depression in men  /  

Sexual health:

Low testosterone symptoms  /   Chlamydia   /   Crabs (STD)   /   Gonorrhea symptoms   /   Herpes and signs   /   How to treat genital warts   /  

Personal Development Report

when you subscribe to the
Self Improvement newsletter.




Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Self Improvement Newsletters.

New pages
on this site:

What does the thyroid do?
Signs of thyroid problems
Under active thyroid symptoms
Over active thyroid symptoms
Thyroid disease treatment
Thyroid storm symptoms