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The signs of hypothyroidism are varied, and some patients suffer with more symptoms than others. Some of the most common signs of hypothyroidism include a tendency to gain weight, dry skin, and problems with constipation. Many patients may also suffer from various emotional difficulties, including feelings of depression or unexplained anger, along with fatigue. All the signs of hypothyroidism are generally caused by the body’s metabolism slowing down to an unnatural degree, and medications for the disorder are designed to replace missing hormones and regain the body's natural balance.
Another relatively common sign of hypothyroidism is a change in the consistency of the fingernails and toenails. The nails will often become brittle, and many patients also have thinner hair than normal. Some other symptoms that might appear include a loss of libido and chronic muscle pain. The signs of hypothyroidism vary from one patient to the next, with some patients showing many different signs, while others only suffer from one or two symptoms.
In cases where patients don’t actually gain weight, they may still have problems getting rid of any excess pounds, even if they follow proper dietary guidelines and exercise. Constipation, which is the other most common sign of hypothyroidism, can occur with any kind of metabolic slowdown, so people don't necessarily associate it with hypothyroidism. In people with thyroid difficulty, the constipation will often bother them for prolonged periods, regardless of any dietary approaches or foods they may eat.
All the signs of hypothyroidism are commonly ignored by patients, who may believe they are suffering from some other problem. For example, patients may think their weight gain is caused by their eating habits, and they may spend years trying to diet. Many patients may think that their dry skin issues are caused by some problem in their nutritional choices, and some may rely on supplements or vitamins as ways to solve these problems. Many people never discover they have a thyroid problem and, therefore, never get treatment for it.
The most common treatment for hypothyroidism is an oral medication that is generally taken on a daily basis. The role of this medicine is to raise the balance of the thyroid hormone in the body. Thyroid problems can develop for many different reasons, but once they occur, there is generally no way to actually cure them. For this reason, patients will generally always need their medication unless they want their problems to return.