Your thyroid is an important organ that can cause severe complications when damaged. If you are looking to find out what are early warning signs of thyroid problems and when the best time is to see a thyroid doctor, take a look at the rest of the article below. 

What is Your Thyroid?

Your thyroid is a gland (a small organ) in front of the windpipe on your neck. It is most known for being shaped like a butterfly. 

The main function of your thyroid is to control your metabolism and create hormones that manage a range of different bodily functions, like your heart rate and body temperature. As you probably already know, metabolism is when food is digested and changed to energy for your body. 

Your pituitary gland takes information from your bloodstream, senses how many thyroid hormones there are, and decides how much metabolism your body should have. If there is an imbalance, the pituitary gland will give more or less of its own hormones to manage it effectively. 

What Is Thyroid Disease?

Thyroid disease stops your thyroid from making enough hormones. There are two different results that thyroid disease can give to your body. These two types are known as hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

Hyperthyroidism, also known as having an overactive thyroid, is where your thyroid makes way too many hormones for your body. When this happens, you will use much more energy than normal, making you more tired and causing your heart to beat faster than is healthy for your body. This can cause anxiety, mood swings, and difficulty in sleeping. You may also find swelling in your neck where your thyroid gland should be.

Hypothyroidism, also known as having an underactive thyroid, is where your thyroid doesn’t make enough hormones for your body. The main symptoms are feeling more tired than normal, weight gain, feeling depressed, and being more sensitive to cold temperatures. It is also common to feel aching muscles and dry skin when having this condition. 

What Are Early Warning Signs of Thyroid Problems?

Doctor Examining Thyroid Gland of Patient in Hospital, Focus On Organ Models

One of the most asked questions regarding this topic is: what are early warning signs of thyroid problems?

There are a range of thyroid warning signs that you may experience to let you know whether you have a thyroid disease or not. However, many of the early signs of thyroid problems are very similar to other medical condition warning signs. Because of this, it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate whether you have a thyroid disease or something else. 

Overactive Thyroid Warning Signs

As explained earlier, if you experience bouts of anxiety and lose a lot of weight, this could be an early sign of thyroid disease. 

Some easy to detect signs of thyroid issues are if you have a larger thyroid gland than normal. You can detect this quite easily as it will look like the front of your neck is swelling, you feel your neck area tighten, and your voice is extremely hoarse. In more extreme cases, you will even find that you have shortness of breath due to the condition.

Many people who have overactive thyroid problems will find that they also suffer from their muscles feeling very weak and feel tremors occurring now and then. As well as this, they will find themselves being more sensitive to heat than they would normally.

Women have a whole host of other potential signs of thyroid issues, as well as the ones we’ve listed above. One of the most common symptoms in women is irregular menstrual periods. In some cases, the menstrual cycle will completely stop.

Underactive Thyroid Warning Signs

Early signs of thyroid problems for those with hypothyroidism include fatigue and constant tiredness. As well as this, those with this condition also gain lots of weight quickly, have dry hair and skin, and feel pain when speaking.  

For women, signs of thyroid issues also include suffering from menstrual periods appearing more and Menorrhagia (menstrual bleeding lasting longer than seven days).

The opposite of those with overactive thyroid problems, those with hypothyroidism will find themselves feeling extremely uncomfortable and in pain when in colder temperatures. You may even experience hair loss when having this condition.

When Is the Best Time to See a Thyroid Doctor?

As soon as you find that you have one of the early signs of thyroid problems, you should go and see a thyroid doctor straight away. If you are unsure whether you have the condition but would like to make sure, it is still a good idea to check before it worsens. 

There are many different ways for doctors to diagnose someone with thyroid disease. 

The first way is by having an ultrasound test. This is the most non-invasive way of checking for potential problems. Simply by applying ultrasound gel to the front of your neck, the doctor can find out if there is a problem or not.

The second way is by having a blood test. By taking a small amount of blood, they can accurately find out if you have thyroid problems or not through analyzing your hormones. This is very quick and doesn’t take too long to complete.

The third way is by having a physical examination. The doctor will carefully look at your neck and feel for any abnormalities there. 

Who Is Most in Danger of This Disease?

Unfortunately, thyroid disease can affect everyone. It’s a very common disease that can occur at any time, whether that’s from birth or a bit older. Over 12% of the US population may develop thyroids at some point in their lives. Women are the gender most likely to get this disease, being five to eight times more likely to get it than men. 

Family Condition

It is more likely that you will get it if you have a family condition. Talk to your family members and your doctor to see if you are more likely to have it due to your genetics. 

Current Medical Conditions

If you have a current medical condition, you are more vulnerable to this disease than others. Examples of current medical conditions that may worsen your thyroid odds are:

  • Diabetes
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Pernicious Anemia 

Past Thyroid Conditions

If you have previously been treated for a thyroid condition or cancer, you are also much more likely to get this disease than others. 

Old Age

Problems With Thyroid, Nurse Examining a Patient

Studies have shown that those over 65 are most at risk of developing thyroid diseases. However, it is much harder to diagnose in older people than those who are younger. 


Iodine is the mineral that is used to help thyroids create their hormones. If you have excessive iodine or an iodine deficiency, you are much more likely to have the disease.  

Speak to a Professional

Thyroid disease is a serious condition if not treated correctly. If you are looking to find a professional to help diagnose whether you have a thyroid condition or not, why not talk to one of our experienced doctors today. Located in Palm Beach County, Florida, Advanced Surgical Physicians will be here for all your thyroid problems. Book an appointment today.