The Long and Pathetic List of Hypothyroid Symptoms

If you experience several of these symptoms below, you may have an underactive thyroid, including adrenal dysfunction. Many integrative and functional medicine doctors now claim that the symptoms of hypothyroidism and adrenal dysfunction are largely indistinguishable.

I know, these are not labs and this is not a scientific survey. But these symptoms are a culmination of lists from very trusted resources. ‘Tis true that many of these issues can be caused by other factors, certainly.

[I devote an Appendix in my #1 bestselling Essential Thyroid Cookbook to self-testing for thyroid health.]
Please remember that this list is for your informational purposes and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice and treatment provided by a physician or other medical professional.
Here goes:
I am gaining weight inappropriately
I am unable to lose weight with diet/exercise
I am exhausted after exercise/not rejuvenated
I am constipated, sometimes severely
My mouth is often dry
I have hypothermia/low body temperature (I feel cold when others feel warm, I need extra sweaters, etc.)
I have cold hands and feet
I am feeling run down, sluggish, lethargic, exhausted
I have low stamina
I am bone tired in the morning
I am getting more difficult to get along with
I am becoming more irritable and judgmental
I am getting more impatient
I am lacking motivation
I nod off easily
I am not sleeping that great
I can’t stand for long periods of time
I have difficulty concentrating
I can’t read for long periods of time
I have excessive anxiety/worry
I am developing food sensitivities
I am becoming more sensitive to caffeine
I have IBS
I am not that hungry in the morning
I get really hungry before bedtime
I have mad cravings
My hair is coarse and dry, breaking, brittle
I am going prematurely grey
My hair is falling out
My skin is coarse, dry, and scaly
My nails are peeling
I have acne on my face, chest, or arms
I have a hoarse or gravely voice
I have edema/puffiness/swelling
I have bumps/pits on my legs
I have puffiness and swelling around the eyes and face
I have no eyebrows or my outer eyebrows are thinning
I am having trouble conceiving a baby
I have had miscarriages
I have severe menstrual cramps
I am having irregular menstrual cycles (longer, or heavier, or more frequent)
I have bad PMS
I am estrogen dominant
I am not ovulating
I have no sex drive
I have pains/aches in joints
My bones ache
My feet are sometimes swollen
My eyelids are swollen upon waking
I have poor ankle reflexes
I am osteoporotic
I have developed carpal-tunnel syndrome, or it’s getting worse
I have muscle stiffness
I have muscle pain
I feel blue/depressed
I feel restless
My moods change easily
I have feelings of worthlessness
I have more feelings of sadness
I seem to be losing interest in normal daily activities
I am more forgetful
I am getting more frequent infections
I am snoring more
I have/may have sleep apnea
I feel shortness of breath and tightness in the chest
I feel the need to yawn to get oxygen/have feelings of air hunger
My eyes feel gritty and dry
My eyes feel sensitive to light
My eyes get jumpy/I have tics in eyes
I feel dizzy or have vertigo
I have regular headaches or migraines
I have tinnitus (ringing in ears)
I have a cold fanny
I get recurrent sinus infections
I feel some lightheadedness
I occasionally have vertigo

And to think that for many people, hypothyroidism goes undiagnosed and undertreated for years…


Unfortunately, all comments on this post written prior to Feb. 28, 2013 were inadvertently wiped out. Ouch.

A few months back during a routine physical my dr noticed a large nodule on my thyroid and sent me for a sonogram which revealed a 3.3cm solid nodule along with 2 More sold 1 mixed and 1 cystic. There was also calcifications other symptoms of cancer. I had 3 fna biopsy and blood work done by and endo dr said my tumor marker raised, postive for hoshimoto but thyroid levels were low but still within normal range. At the Biopsy dr said they had never spent so long reviewing another patients cells with pathologist because cells patterns were so complex. In the end said I have 8 out of the 10 of nodule characteristics for thyroid cancer but pathologist feel they were more likely hoshimoto realted cells than cancerous type and wasnt diagnosing cancer at this time.  He recomends surgery total removal just to be safe and because nodule is so large very cellular and will keep growing. Already causing some trouble swallowing and I have all the symptoms you list but thought it was all pre menopause I'm 45 I never even thought of my thyroid health before all this and cannot believe all my symptoms have been autoimmune related this whole time. He gave me no advice no meds other than come back keep watching probably remove it. Help I need natural nutritional advice have gone glutin free read that can help still feel terrible. Would like to advoid surgery if at all possible please I need any advice you can give 





Hi Joy, you’ve outlined a complex medical situation that we can’t address in a responsible manner in a blog comment. I understand that you must be confused and conflicted, but it’s just not in our realm of professional responsiblity to direct you about a thyroidectomy. If you’d like to work with one of us around the nutrition aspect, we’d love to help. Even if you proceed with a thyroidectomy, you’ll still need proper gut and liver function to metabolize your replacement hormones, which we can certainly support you with. If you haven’t already, download our detailed thyroid- and immune-supportive nutrition charts by entering your name and email on our thyroid cookbook page.

had to laugh at the cold Fanny bit,is that the medical term for it?

i have a positive ANA titer...high, and speckled. a sister who also has lupus, three siblings and a mom with thyroid problems.

i have reynaud's and sjogren's syndromes and recently weight gain without diet change or change in excercise regimen. am losing my hair and have no outer eyebrows left.

my lips are always dried cracked and peeling. my primary suspects hypothyroidism, i suspect auto-immune variety.

thanks for your page and site. i am on a mission to find non-traditional, herbal and diet ways to resolve my issues.

Hi Moon,

We're so sorry to hear that you've been struggling with the symptoms. Unfortunately, they are all too common for folks with autoimmune disease and hypothyroidism, and people like you with such strong family histories of autoimmune disease are at greater risk of developing additional autoimmune disease (such as Hashimoto's.) Feel free to email us if you'd like to discuss your individual situation in more detail.


I have Raynaud's and many of the symptoms of Hashimoto. My thyroid tests all come back normal. I am frustrated as my hair is falling out and I know this is abnormal. I am a diabetic, so I take oral meds for that and I watch my diet. I am currently taking my body temperature in the morning. Day 1 was today and it was 96.5. Why am I not surprised. My mother and sister both have thyroid issues. But no one can explain why my nails peal, something which drives me nuts.

Hi Rebecka,

Please see the comment I responded to on the BBT post, and let us know if you have any other questions.


Hi Jill,

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's a week ago; however, I have had thyroid symptoms for years. My mom and daughter have thyroid disease (Hyper and Hashimotos). It feels like I have periods of hypo and hyper thyroid, especially two weeks before menstruation. I have also had chronic problems with my digestive system and inflamed nasal turbinates. I am not a compulsive eater, but I have gained a large amount of weight within the last few years.

A few months ago I walked into my primary care physician's office complaining of edema in my feet and wrist and shoulders, chest tightness (around menses), joint pain, forgetting words, fatigue, shortness of breath, digestive problems and sleep apnea. Because of problems with my sinuses and reflux, I have also been seeing an ENT, who upon examination noticed my thyroid was enlarged. He ordered an ultrasound and TSH test, and my results came back normal; however I have a benign goiter. No further explanation or information was given. I explained to my PCP what had happened during my visit with my ENT as the findings were sent to his office, and I was advised to lose a few pounds. I tried explaining to him that my eating habits have not changed. I don't eat excessively and I am a healthy eater. I asked him to refer me to an endocrinologist who basically said the same thing; however, he did some further testing (including an A1C) and a few weeks later called me to advise me that my A1C results came back normal, but my titer was extremely high, indicating Hoshimoto's. That was all.

Please advise what I should do.


I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone. My sister has Sjogrens so I'm somewhat familiar with autoimmune diseases. Your list of symptoms sounds like my life. :/ My doctor has ordered a bunch of blood tests and a thyroid ultrasound and part of me is hoping that I get diagnosed so that I can start some kind of treatment to combat the symptoms. Another part of me is hoping that I'm just having a very long string of bad days and that my thyroid is fine.

Hi Jenny B.,

We're sorry to hear about your symptoms. Even if you do have a thyroid/autoimmune condition, there are countless strategies that can be employed to reverse the symptoms and bring about a return to good health. Please reach out if we can be of any assistance.


How do we return to good health????

Suanne, work with a qualified, experienced coach, a functional medicine doctor, and read the educational component of and cook from my cookbook:

I am happy to find this page.I have been gaining weight despite a proper diet and consistent exercise.My hair is falling out and feels coarse like straw,l have two miscarriages ,joint pain and developed acne on my arms even though I never had. Acne as a teen.Food allergies ,and irritable bowel.My doctor pays no attention she finally did a T3 and T4 test says it was in normal range and did nothing else.I need some help. Please.

Hi Donna,

I'm so sorry to hear what you've been going through. You are not alone -- many physicians will determine that a client has "normal" lab values without critically analyzing the actual numbers (disregarding the suggested reference ranges) or taking symptoms into account. Food allergies, digestive problems, and acne point to systemic inflammation and poor gut health, which the functional medicine community says is key to overall health. Moreover, poor gut health is intimately tied to thyroid dysfunction, which, as you know, can manifest with hair and fertility problems as well.

Because every body and every situation is so unique, it's difficult to give conrete, appropriate advice via blog comments. Please use the form on the contact page if you would like to speak with us in depth about your situation.


Hi Mary,

I have hypothroidism (just like my Mother). I take 225mcg of Levothyroxine Synthroid each day (Brand only). I find my symptoms fluctuate and presently I find them getting worse. I know I can go to my doctor and he can adjust my dosage, but in the long run I want to be able to manage my condition better.
My doctor is good at managing my T4 count, but not so good at telling me how I can manage my condition. Do you know of any doctor's in the Washington DC area who may be more helpful? If so, please send me some referrals.

Tired of being tired...



Hi Robert, Jill here. If your symptoms fluctuate, you likely have Hashimoto's. Thyroid drugs will do little if anything to help you modulate the autoimmunity. T4 is a pretty worthless lab value to be monitoring. You can manage your condition by working with us. Or someone like us. Doctors know very little about the nutritional, lifestyle, and supplemental strategies for firing up the thyroid and taming a hypervigilant immune system and they can't give you ongoing support. Increasing your thyroid drug dosing is just barking up the wrong tree.

I was told I have hypothyroidism (low thyroid) - my numbers are not bad, 6 something - so my doctor told me to research for myself because she knows how I feel about meds. I'm very sensitive to them and very phobic. I have never heard of Hashimoto's and I don't have hardly any of those symptoms. (I go from hot to cold.) Also I'm past menopause, although I went through it young - so did my mom. Thyroid problems do run in my family. I am on the tired side, but I do have a lot going on in my life. I have 2 special-needs kids, and we're on the road all the time for appts. I was told that diet could not fix me and that whatever I chose, whether it was herbs, natural or meds, it would be for the rest of my life. I want natural.

Do you have any natural treatment suggestions other than diet. I eat exactly how you suggest and have for over a year now. I cook all from scratch with organic whole foods and utilize local farms for properly raised chicken, beef, yogurt, butter, raw milk, etc etc. I have so many of these symptoms as well as 2 young children I'm home with so that makes it even tougher to deal with the irritability and lack of patience. I recently saw an herbalist and have been taking her suggestions of herbs including a probiotic, a vitin d3, a female formula as well as a couple others. I have noticed improvement but i still have the breathing issues, tired in the morning and poor concentration/ focus. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Hi Sam, it sounds like you have a great diet. I don't know enough about your specific situation to make suggestions. I don't recommend an "exact" way of eating for each of my clients. It's not all about what foods are eaten -- it's also about how, including sleuthing out any food sensitivities. There could be some adrenal imbalances as well.

hi i have hoshimotos and i feel like there is liquid in my lungs and i can't get a good deep breath and sometimes it feels like it gurgles in my lungs. do others complain of this, how can i help this and the ademia?

Hi Donna, I can't say whether this is associated with your Hashi's. I don't know. Lymphatic massage works wonders for moving the lymph.

I have almost everyone of these symptoms and nodules on my thyroid and my labs came back OK?
Do you know of any specialist in the Cincinnati Ohio area? I suffer with migraines on almost a daily basis and I just wonder if there is an association.

Thank You

Lori, you can go to this link to search for a functional medicine doctor:

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after my last pregnancy even though I know I had it long before then. I have so many of the symptoms in that list it isn't even funny, and I'm being treated with medication too. They aren't doing the testing correctly. I think that's half the problem with obesity in this country.

My doctor won't increase my meds even though I just went through a bout of Metabolic Syndrome and gained about 50 lbs.  I told her when I was first diagnosed they read the tests differently, then some "smart" doctor went and changed the paramaters for the test. Right now I'm down to 169 from 211  which is what I weighed at my worst. I'm only 5'2 and I also had to have surgery for hyperparathyroid disease, which is what controls how our bodies use calcium. I now have severe osteoperosis and actually have a broken foot and 2 broken vertebrae because my bones lost so much calcium. I would suggest to anyone that has thyroid problems to get their parathyroid checked. Because of the condition of my back and foot it's hard to be active for me. So therefore harder to lose weight.

I have decided to see a different doctor that will listen to me. I'm tired of taking crap about this. AND not everyone falls under the same guidelines, our bodies are different, and that test should only  be used as a guideline and medication adjusted if needed.

Mine went undiagnosed for 2.5 years.  My blood work was "normal" but in the low range of normal.  I finally someone who was willing to put me on thyroid med to get me in the middle of normal.

I am so much better now.


I have normal labs (TSH, T3, T4, etc) and no thyroid antibodies.  My TSH is 3.7 that some may say is high.  I was diagnosed with Hashimotos vis a thyroid ultrasound and had 2 nodules - 2mm and 4mm.  The said to get the nodules checked out in 6 months.

the endocrinologist does not want to put me on thyroid meds by all blood work normal.  my symptoms:

- random aches and pains that come and go

- high cholesterol being treated by lipitor

- high blood pressure being treated by amlodipine

- can seems to lose weight even though I eat well and exercise regularly.  I have gained 10 pounds in 6 months (140 to 150).  I am a 5' 8 male

-feel a constant lump in my throat 

Please let me know your thoughts.  Thanks!!!


Hi there,

Thank you for your comment. Your question and collection of symptoms represent a complex condition and cannot be answered responsibly on a blog comment. We’d love to help you – if you’d like to speak with one of our coaches, you’re welcome to schedule an introductory session via our Contact page.



Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for sharing information


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