Decreased levels of thyroid hormone causes the bodily functions to slow down. In mild thyroid failure, patients often do not show any obvious symptoms and thus may not even be aware of their condition. But if left untreated symptoms begin to show. Some of the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism are:

  • Weakness, lethargy (lack of energy) and fatigue (indicating general “slowing down”)
  • Weight gain despite poor appetite. The weight gain which occurs is mainly due to retention of fluid in the body.
  • Hoarseness of voice (caused by swelling of the larynx)
  • Cold intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Excessive bleeding during menses
  • Decreased heart rate and pulse
  • High blood pressure (sometimes)
  • Facial expression becomes dull, speech is slow, eyelids droop. The person loses interest in work or environment (hence hypothyroidism may be mistaken for Depression)
  • Skin becomes dry, coarse, scaly and thick (due to reduced secretions of the sweat and sebaceous glands)
  • Thin, brittle nails
  • Hair becomes sparse (thinning of hair), coarse, dry and lusterless.
  • Muscle cramps and stiffness, pain in joints.
  • Goiter (an abnormal swelling in the neck caused by an enlarged thyroid gland)
  • Mood swings
  • Forgetfulness, slowed thinking and slow speech

Severe form of hypothyroidism is known as Myxedema (Clinical features)

Severe form of hypothyroidism in infancy is known as Cretinism (Clinical features)

Hypothyroidism beginning in childhood is known as Juvenile Hypothyroidism (Clinical features)