Symptoms of Hypothyroidism

Problems vary from person to person. It depends on the level of hormone change. It often happens slowly over a number of years. A person may not notice they are having problems at first. They may also think the problems are caused by something else, such as stress.

People may have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Being very tired
  • Feeling weak
  • Coarse, brittle hair, or hair loss
  • Facial puffiness
  • Dry skin
  • Swollen hands or feet
  • Being very cold
  • Weight gain
  • Problems passing stool
  • An achy feeling all over
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Problems with focus
  • Blurred vision
  • Menstrual problems or problems getting pregnant in women


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Severe problems may be:

  • Shortness of breath during activity or when lying flat
  • Hypothermia—very low body temperature
  • Bradycardia—a slow heart rate


Chaker L, Bianco AC, et al. Hypothyroidism. Lancet. 2017 Sep 23;390(10101):1550-1562.
Hypothyroidism in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed February 10, 2021.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: Accessed February 10, 2021.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 2/10/2021