Thyroid Problems in Men
Thyroid problems are associated with severe symptoms that can have negative effect on physical appearance and sexual health in men. Thyroid problems like Graves’ thyroiditis can affect more women compared to men; however, affected men can also develop same signs and symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism. Men presenting with overactive thyroid can be treated and most of the symptoms regress after taking 3 to 6 months of successful treatment. Some of the symptoms of thyroid disorders can vary depending on the age and severity of patients. Read on to learn more about such problems that are commonly developed in men.
Thyroid problems are generally classified under two main types; hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is associated with an under active thyroid gland that can no longer secrete sufficient level of thyroid hormones to meet the body needs to function normally. In contrast, hyperthyroidism is characterized with an overactive thyroid gland that produces excess of thyroid hormone thus, impairing the overall bodily function. Both the conditions tend to be affect women more commonly than men; however, men also tend to develop some of the similar types of symptoms as presented by women. The following points provide a general outlook about the significant features, causes and treatment protocol of these conditions in men.
Unintentional weight gain despite intake of normal calories or diet in conjunction with healthy exercise habits is an indication that thyroid gland is not secreting adequate amount of thyroid hormones as required by the body. According to Mayo Clinic, Men are least likely to gain more than 30 lbs. which, could be only fluid. Reversely, Mayo Clinic also reports that profound weight loss despite having healthy appetite and diet, is a sign of excessive hormone production by a hyperactive thyroid gland.
The common symptoms associated with both hyperactive and under active thyroid gland in men is erectile dysfunction. Men affected with an under active thyroid tend to present with reduced sexual drive.
Graves’ disease is a common cause of hyperthyroidism on both men and women. The condition stimulates the immune system by making it work against the thyroid gland itself. Similar to women, men can present with some of the common symptoms of Graves’ disease such as swollen or itchy eyes, bulging of the eyes, retraction of the upper eye lid resulting in a characteristic gaze.
Weakness and Fatigue
Unusual weakness and tiredness despite not working hard or even with no change in activity levels, are common signs of both overactive and under active thyroid. Some of the basic symptoms include muscle weakness, which could be troublesome for older adults.
Intolerance to Heat or Cold
Men presenting with lack of tolerance to normal heat or cold is a warning sign of malfunctioning thyroid gland. Profuse sweating and intolerance to heat are possible indications of overactive thyroid. In contrast, men with increased sensitivity to cold or extreme intolerance to cold can be a warning sign of hypothyroidism or under active thyroid.
Significant neurological changes in men could be due to the hormonal imbalance in the brain caused by thyroid problems. The common neurological symptoms include increased sensitivity to cold temperatures, decreased mental acuity, sluggishness and overall slowdown.
Altered Heart Rate
One of the nonspecific sign that indicates thyroid problems in men is an altered heart rate, particularly in older adults. These symptoms include rapid or irregular heartbeat;heart pounding; increased pulse rate, which are suggestive of overactive thyroid; while an under active thyroid is associated with decreased pulse rate, slower and reduced heart rate.
Goiter or diffuse enlargement of the thyroid gland is an obvious symptom of thyroid problem in men. The swollen thyroid is accompanied with severe neck swelling. Thyroid gland enlargement accompanied with pain requires further investigation to rule out malignancy. Various thyroid conditions are associated with swollen thyroid, including hyperactive and under active thyroid conditions, cysts and cancer.
Changes in Bowel Patterns
Constipation is a commonly experienced symptom by men with an under active thyroid, while frequent defecation and diarrhea can be suggestive of an overactive thyroid as in Graves’ hyperthyroidism, an autoimmune disorder. This is because many causes are associated with gastro intestinal symptoms; however, affected men may not suspect these problems to a thyroid problem.
Symptoms of Common Thyroid Problems
- Mental and physical fatigue
- Joint or muscle pain
- Mood fluctuations or normal behavioral changes
- Weight gain without evidence of increased calories intake
- Cold sensitivity
- Frequent constipation
- Dry hair and dry skin
- Slower metabolism of alcohol
- Poor memory or Forgetfulness
- Weight loss
- Increased irritability
- Heat sensitivity
- Rapid pulse
- Increased perspiration
- Muscular weakness and hand tremors
- Thinning and warming of the skin
- Enlarged thyroid gland
- Diarrhea or loose motions
- Swollen neck due to thyroid gland enlargement
Filed Under :Thyroid Problems in Men