Six Frequently Misinterpreted Signs of Hypothyroidism - Integrative Brain and Body

Six Frequently Misinterpreted Signs of Hypothyroidism

Did you know that 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware that their thyroid gland is not functioning properly? Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, is the most common thyroid disorder. Sadly, the condition often goes undiagnosed because its numerous varied symptoms are misinterpreted as signs of other ailments.

Once diagnosed, hypothyroidism can be managed and treated, but many patients needlessly suffer for years because they misinterpret their symptoms. If you notice any of these frequently misinterpreted symptoms, you should get tested for hypothyroidism.

Unintentional Weight Gain

If you’ve been packing on the pounds as you age, you may blame a lack of exercise or your love of cookies.

But take a moment to think about whether your diet and activity levels have really changed over the years.

Hypothyroidism becomes more common with age-especially in women-so your weight gain may actually be due to a decrease in thyroid hormone levels. It’s commonly said that metabolism decreases with age, but age-related decreases in metabolism are often actually due hypothyroidism that worsens with age.


Are you always feeling lethargic and run down? Many times, patients blame their lack of energy on busy lifestyles and lack of sleep. However, if you feel fatigued even after a good night’s rest, your thyroid may not be performing as it should. Additionally, many people with hypothyroidism find it hard to get a good night’s rest in the first place, a factor that just makes the fatigue worse.

Joint Swelling

If your joints have become a bit swollen and painful in recent years, you may blame your symptoms on arthritis. But hypothyroidism can also cause swollen, painful joints. If conventional arthritis treatments like anti-inflammatory drugs and massage are not improving your symptoms, your joint pain could be due to hypothyroidism.


There are many causes of depression. Some people experience depression due to a lack of vitamin D, and others have depression due to chemical imbalances in the brain. Sadly, some patients work with doctors and therapists for years, trying countless anti-depressant drugs and remedies only to find that they still feel chronically blue.

Often, relief is elusive because the remedies and drugs are not addressing the true cause of the depression: an underactive thyroid gland. Patients are often surprised how quickly their depression lifts once they start treatment for hypothyroidism.

Thinning Hair

Baldness can be genetic; some people naturally lose hair as they age. However, genetic balding is much more common in men than women. If you are a female whose hair is thinning, there’s a very good chance that your hair loss is due to an underactive thyroid gland. Creams, shampoos, and scalp massages won’t help. You need careful treatment to restore healthy levels of thyroid hormone and stimulate new hair growth.


If you often feel constipated, try increasing your water and fiber intake. If you still feel constipated when consuming plenty of water and fiber, then there’s a good chance your thyroid is to blame. Thyroid hormone helps keep the digestive tract moving, and without enough of it, your digestion is likely to be sluggish.

Treatments like laxatives and suppositories may supply short-term relief, but to permanently restore normal bowel function, you need treatment for ypothyroidism. Constant constipation can eventually lead to bigger issues, like bowel obstructions and colon cancer, so this is not a problem to ignore!

Thyroid hormones play a key role in regulating your metabolism and have an impact on the function of most every organ system in your body. As a result, the symptoms of hypothyroidism are vast and easily mistaken for those of other illnesses.

Thankfully, hypothyroidism is easy to diagnose with a few simple tests. Once diagnosed, you can begin working with the practitioners at Integrative Brain and Body to discover and treat the underlying causes of your underactive thyroid, restoring yourself to optimal health and alleviating your symptoms naturally.

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About Integrative Brain and Body

Known for their successful treatment of mystery illnesses, Dr. Scott Beyer and Dr. Brianne Holmes combine an integrative, functional medicine and functional neurology  approach with the appropriate lab testing.

Our unique approach to diagnosing and helping diseases and disorders recognizes that lasting health depends on resolution of the root causes of your disease. Click here to learn more »

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