Thyroid Fatigue Symptoms: How Are Fatigue and Thyroid Disease Connected?

March 25, 2021
Fatigue and Thyroid

Most people suffering from thyroid often feel fatigued. Fatigue caused by the thyroid malfunctioning is often debilitating and manifests as persistent exhaustion that impacts your daily routine. Typically, thyroid diseases resulting from an overactive thyroid (e.g., Grave’s Disease) or an underactive thyroid (Hashimoto’s Disease) affect your body’s metabolism. This leads to feelings of exhaustion and fatigue. Whether you wake up tired or need frequent naps, the root cause can be your thyroid.

Read on to learn how fatigue and thyroid disease are interlinked.

Thyroid Fatigue Symptoms: The Connection Between Fatigue and Thyroid Disease

If you feel exhausted when waking up, despite a full night’s sleep, it may be either hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in front of your neck, produces hormones that:

  • Controls your metabolism, the way your body turns food into energy
  • Affects your cholesterol, heart, muscles, and bones

Abnormal production of thyroid hormones causes thyroid disorders, ranging from a small, harmless goiter (enlarged gland) to life-threatening cancer. However, they can be managed with proper diagnosis and treatment.

Common Thyroid Fatigue Symptoms

Severe exhaustion and fatigue are the key indicators of undiagnosed or insufficiently treated thyroid problems.

Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism

Bone-numbing fatigue that develops slowly or suddenly is a symptom of hypothyroidism, leaving you unable to wake up.

Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism fatigue commonly results from anxiety, disrupting sleep patterns, and insomnia. Sleeping difficulty can result from the stress hyperthyroidism puts on your body, including high blood pressure, anxiety, a rapid pulse, tremors, and diarrhea.

What Is an Overactive Thyroid?

Hyperthyroidism occurs when excess amounts of thyroid hormones are produced. It affects women 5 to 10 times more than men and is common in people younger than 40.

What Is an Underactive Thyroid?

A decrease in thyroid hormone production causes hypothyroidism. Compared to younger adults, older adults, especially women, are more likely to develop hypothyroidism. Untreated hypothyroidism can harm your baby during pregnancy and increase your cholesterol levels, thus causing you stroke or heart attack.

What Does Hypothyroid Fatigue Feel Like?

Hypothyroidism fatigue may feel like you:

  • Sleep more than usual, but still feel exhausted
  • Fall asleep during the day or quickly at night
  • Cannot get through the day without a nap

Can Thyroid Problems Cause Extreme Fatigue?

Thyroid problems speed up or slow down the body’s metabolism, leading to extreme fatigue, lethargy, and difficulty sleeping.

What Are Early Warning Signs of Thyroid Problems?

Early warning signs of thyroid issues include:

  • Nervousness or tiredness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • More bowel movements
  • Dry skin and brittle nails
  • Hair loss
  • Warm, red, itchy skin
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods
  • Weight loss
  • Intolerance to cold temperatures

Can Thyroid Cause Dizziness Balance Problems?

Yes, abnormalities of the thyroid may cause dizziness.

Thyroid Fatigue Symptoms Causes

Causes of thyroid fatigue symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Sleep apnea
  • Iron deficiency
  • Anemia
  • Poor sleep habits
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic kidney or liver disease
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • An infection
  • An anxiety disorder
  • Less physical activity
  • Unhealthy diet

Can Stress Affect Your Thyroid?

Stress can make your thyroid worse by slowing down your body’s metabolism.

Thyroid Fatigue Symptoms: Treatment

For Hypothyroidism

Your doctor will prescribe thyroid hormone replacement medication to treat hypothyroidism.

For Hyperthyroidism

Anti-thyroid medicine and radioactive iodine ablation are used to treat hyperthyroidism.

Looking for expert and comprehensive thyroid treatment near you?  Call us today at 843-572-1600 or schedule an appointment with our thyroid treatment experts.