Common symptoms of thyroid disease include weight changes, dry skin, fatigue, heart palpitations and constipation, according to WebMD. Other symptoms include menstrual changes in women, tingling in the extremities, cold intolerance and the development of a goiter. Symptoms vary depending on whether a patient has hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
When the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone, a patient is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, eMedicineHealth explains. Depression, constipation, dry hair and skin, and heavy menstrual periods are symptoms often seen in patients with hypothyroidism, reports WebMD.
Causes of hypothyroidism include Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease, and inflammation of the thyroid gland, called subacute thyroiditis, notes eMedicineHealth. Other causes of hypothyroidism can include previous treatments, such as thyroid surgery, as well as pituitary problems, an iodine deficiency and certain medications, such as lithium.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms with this thyroid disorder include excessive sweating, weight loss and a rapid heartbeat, according to WebMD. Causes of hyperthyroidism include Graves' disease, which is the most common cause. In Graves' disease, the thyroid gland is attacked by the immune system. Overactive thyroid nodules also are a cause of hyperthyroidism, reports eMedicineHealth. Viruses sometimes trigger an overactive thyroid, although 90 percent of affected patients recover without treatment of the disorder.