The ratio of thyroid disorders of women and men is reported to be 3 to 1. Although it may not surprise you that thyroid disease mostly affects women, many people are completely oblivious of the thyroid symptoms in men.
There are many men out there who might be dealing with thyroid symptoms without even knowing it, since most thyroid symptoms in men often go unnoticed. This is because most of the symptoms are usually so generalized that men don’t really associate them with thyroid.
Some common thyroid symptoms in men
Let’s take a look at some of the thyroid symptoms that you might experience if you have thyroid disease.
Usually, the body needs a certain amount of thyroid hormone to produce the required energy. However, when these levels drop due to a thyroid infection, the energy levels drop significantly, making you feel weak and tired.
Fatigue may take many forms including muscle and joint pains, stiffness, muscle cramps and general body aches. Additionally, you may also experience sleeplessness or shaking hands and fingers, according to Dr. Silviya, a Kentucky based endocrinologist.
2. Sexual Dysfunction
This thyroid symptom is especially more obvious in men than women; Thyroid directly affects the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, affecting the normal production of testosterone. As such, men with thyroid disease may experience a variety of sexual health-related symptoms such as premature ejaculation (common in hyperthyroidism), Delayed ejaculation (common in hypothyroidism), erectile dysfunction, low sperm count and other sperm-related problems like reduced sperm motility and lower semen level.
However, there is no need for panic, these symptoms can easily be reversed with proper remedies such as thyroid hormones.
3. High Cholesterol and Abnormal Weight Gain
These two thyroid symptoms in men occur as a result of a slowed metabolism; Thyroid infections often slow down the metabolic rate, therefore, impairing the release of critical digestive enzymes. As a result, the body stores more calories than needed, leading to the subsequent weight gain.
Likewise, normal metabolism is designed to eliminate triglycerides and cholesterol from your body; however, when infected, cholesterol levels can always rise to catastrophic levels.
4. Feeling Cold
Well, you might think that it’s only the heating system in your home that keeps you nice and warm all night long. But, according to Leonard Wartofsky, a professor of medicine at Georgetown University, your thyroid Gland plays a bigger role by acting as a thermostat that ensures your body temperature is kept just at the right levels. However, once infected, your normal functioning thyroid gland gets handicapped, leading to slightly lower body temperatures. As such, a hypothyroid patient may feel cold even when the surrounding temperature isn’t so low.
5. Dry Skin
Dry, rough (sometimes cracked), and pale looking skin is a hallmark of an underactive thyroid. Some people may even develop a yellowish tint to their skin caused by the abnormal conversion of vitamin A, which is responsible for healthy skin cell production.
Dry skin is the result of a slowed skin-cell reproduction process and reduced blood flow. In other words, thyroid hormone deficiency compromises your sweat glands, causing a glitch in the skin’s growth and development cycle.
In conclusion if you are a guy and realize any or all of these thyroid symptoms in men, consider booking an appointment with your doctor just to be on the safe side.
The good news, however, is that thyroid symptoms in men are not permanent and can easily be treated using thyroid hormone replacement medication.