Antonio Bianco MD, PhD works as an endocrinologist at Rush University Medical Center. According to Dr. Bianco, the symptoms that people have when they have hypothyroidism will vary from person to person.

Understanding Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is not active enough. That means that the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient amounts of the thyroid hormone and the result is a slowing down of the normal functions of the body. That is why one of the most frequently complained of symptom of hypothyroidism is a lack of energy.

Many people with this condition say they are tired when they wake up in the morning, even if they have gotten a full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep the night before.

Slower Metabolism

Another bodily function that is greatly affected by the reduction of the thyroid hormone is the metabolism. Our metabolism helps us to burn away the calories we consume so the normal reaction when our metabolism is slowed is for us to gain weight.

Another problem that people with lower production of the thyroid hormone suffer is water retention. A large amount of the weight people think they are gaining is actually water weight.


One of the body processes that slows down when our body produces less thyroid hormones is the brain. When the brain begins to slow down people experience greater mood swings, and depression is often a result.

Another complication resulting from the brain slowing is memory loss. People with hypothyroidism often complain of not being able to retain memories like they once did.


When your body begins to retain water instead of expelling it, like it should one of the conditions that develops is constipation.

You might also experience dry skin and hair loss when you suffer from hypothyroidism. Many women see changes in their menstrual cycles when their body starts to produce less of the thyroid hormone. Some women report longer cycles, while others report shortened cycles. The amount of blood flow may be drastically increased or decreased as a direct result of the hormone reduction.

Elevated Cholesterol Levels

In people who have confirmed hypothyroidism the elevation of their cholesterol levels is very common. This is thought to be the result of higher than average thyroid stimulating hormones being released by the body in an attempt to increase the thyroid hormone back to a level that allows the body to function normally.

Some people with this condition have symptoms like slurred speech, they may begin to lose their sense of smell or taste, some people develop a puffy face, or they sound hoarse when they speak. Their eyebrows may become thinner and their skin may actually become thicker.

Treatment Options

There are treatment options for people who suffer from hypothyroidism, but you will need to see your doctor and confirm the condition before treatment can begin. Often doctors do not order a thyroid hormone level check because patients do not complain about their symptoms, because they did not know their symptoms indicated hypothyroidism.