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Common Signs of an Underactive Thyroid in Men

Common Signs of an Underactive Thyroid in Men

Detecting an Underactive Thyroid

When it comes to thyroid conditions, men often are overlooked. It's commonly assumed that only women can suffer from problems with their thyroid gland and other autoimmune diseases, but the truth is that men can be affected, too. In fact, according to the Thyroid Foundation of Canada, men are three times more likely than women to develop a thyroid disorder—specifically underactive thyroids.

Keep reading to learn more about managing your thyroid health as you age.

How Common is an Underactive Thyroid?

Between three to 16 percent of men can develop a condition called hypothyroidism—or underactive thyroid—and the risk goes up as you age. With hypothyroidism, your thyroid fails to release enough hormones into your bloodstream. Hypothyroidism can have a variety of causes, including cancer, previous thyroid radiation or surgery, medications or not getting enough iodine in your diet. The condition can negatively impact your metabolism and cause a range of symptoms.

If you're a man with symptoms that could be related to a thyroid problem, it's essential to get checked out by a doctor. But what exactly should you be on the lookout for? Here are some common signs of underactive thyroid in men:

Changes in Sex Drive

One of the most prevalent symptoms for men with hypothyroidism is changes in sexual performance. Research shows that 60 percent of men with hypothyroidism have low libido (sexual desire), erectile dysfunction or delayed ejaculation.

Hypothyroidism in men also has been shown to affect testosterone levels, semen quality and sperm count—leading to infertility.

Muscle Aches and Pains

Joint and muscle pain are typical in men with an underactive thyroid. This symptom tends to be slightly more common in men than women. You also may notice stiffness in your joints or muscles—typically in the upper arms and legs. When the thyroid is treated, these symptoms tend to go away.

Dry Skin and Hair

Hair loss in men is a common issue that comes with aging. If your skin and hair are drier than usual, it could signify an underactive thyroid. You also may notice that your hair is thinning or falling out more than usual.

Additional Symptoms

Some side effects of hypothyroidism are more closely shared by men and women, including:

  • Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Cold intolerance
  • Brain fog
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling of the hands or feet
  • Constipation

Treatment for Hypothyroidism in Men in Ohio

Once diagnosed, an underactive thyroid can be treated with medication. With treatment, you should feel better, and your symptoms should improve.

If you're experiencing any of the symptoms shared above, it's essential to see a doctor so they can rule determine whether or not you have an underactive thyroid. The health experts at Southwest General are here to offer exceptional treatment to help protect your health. To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment with a primary care provider or an endocrinologist, visit our website.