Your thyroid may be small, but it plays a big part in a wide range of your body’s everyday functions—like your heartbeat, metabolism, mood, temperature and more. So, if there is a problem with your thyroid, it can lead to a variety of issues. Being aware of the signs and symptoms of thyroid conditions can help you decide when to consult with a physician.
Symptoms of thyroid problems
The thyroid gland produces hormones that are responsible for your body’s activities. When it’s not functioning properly, the thyroid may stop producing the appropriate amount of hormones, causing a number of symptoms. It’s also possible for a diseased thyroid to become enlarged, creating a goiter that can be felt or seen.
An overactive thyroid produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormone, a condition known as “hyperthyroidism.” This speeds up metabolism, which can lead to symptoms such as:
- Weight loss
- Sensitivity to heat
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty sleeping
- Muscle weakness
A thyroid producing too little thyroid hormone leads to hypothyroidism, which causes the metabolism to slow down. Some symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Weight gain
- Muscle weakness
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
- Trouble with concentration and memory
When cancer forms on the thyroid gland, swelling or a lump may be noticeable in the neck. While it is far more likely for an enlarged thyroid to be caused by a noncancerous condition, it is also possible that a palpable lump could be thyroid cancer. Other possible symptoms of thyroid cancer include:
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Throat soreness or hoarseness
- Sensations of choking or fullness in the neck
- Persistent coughing that’s unrelated to a cold
- Vocal changes
- Ear pain
Referrals are not required to consult with an oncologist specializing in thyroid cancer at Moffitt Cancer Center. To learn more about thyroid cancer symptoms and diagnosis, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online.