15 Warning Signs of Hypothyroidism

Q: How would I know if I had hypothyroidism?

A: The symptoms of hypothyroidism are deceptively vague:

1. Fatigue.
2. Sluggishness.
3. Increased sensitivity to cold.
4. Constipation.
5. Pale, dry skin.
6. A puffy face.
7. Hoarse voice.
8. An elevated blood cholesterol level.
9. Unexplained weight gain.
10. Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness.
11. Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints.
12. Muscle weakness.
13. Heavier than normal menstrual periods.
14. Brittle fingernails and hair.
15. Depression.

How many of us haven’t had some of these problems?! You may even have one or more of them on a daily basis–and still not have hypothryoidism.

Because the symptoms are so vague, I make screening for thyroid conditions a routine part of my practice. All it takes is a simple blood test. If your own physician is not in the habit of doing this test on a regular basis, have a discussion at your next visit about whether a baseline assessment is warranted.

Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting www.beekman1802.com.

Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at drbrent@care2.com.

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Shirley S.
Shirley S.2 years ago

Important information to note

Syd H.
Syd H.2 years ago

I agree with Interstellar D. I had other "telling" signs such as hair loss (especially the outer half of my eyebrows) but I went raw vegan and every other sign and symptom corrected, likely because of the super increase in nutrients but also in finally clearing gluten out of my system (that is how I discovered how it was causing me to starve by blocking the nutrients -- the gut makes a mucus barrier to protect itself which only clears out after gluten is no longer ingested).

I was also highly deficient in trace minerals too. Once I added those, coupled with the lifestyle diet change I was no longer hungry all the time with constant cravings, weight melted off without effort, hair stopped shedding, eyebrows came back, energy returned, pains went away, and so much more.

Nothing tastes better than feeling good.

Oh, and the doc I had was worse than useless during all this. :(

Interstellar Daydreamer
Cosmic Price2 years ago

People should not be worried about this disease. I was told I had it for years and did not. It's often totally bogus, and people take the medication for no reason, only making themselves even more ill. Usually the reason the person has any symptoms of what is SUPPOSEDLY the problem (hypothyroidism), is because of diet and things like what is in the water, etcetera. Doctors do not know a thing about the thyroid gland, but some would love to assume that they are completely of supreme intelligence and know all. Someone SHOULD be worried about hyperthyroidism symptoms, but i'm sure that it's probably not caused by the thyroid gland!

Winn Adams
Winn Adams2 years ago


Allyssa C.
Allyssa C.2 years ago

I'm 15 and have, roughly, 10 of these problems daily. I have for years. Looks like I'll be telling my mom I need a doctor visit. Thanks for having this up. I've seen multiple sites to make sure and all of the recorded symptoms for Hypothyroidism add up.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)

Aud Nordby
Aud nordby2 years ago


Siti R.
Siti R.2 years ago

a reduction in stress levels would help!

Terry V.
Terry V.2 years ago


Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton3 years ago

Thanks for the info.