Symptoms of thyroid problems depend on whether the thyroid is overactive or underactive. Hyperthyroidism is characterized by an overactive thyroid, and symptoms include weight loss, heart palpitations, frequent bowel movements, development of goiters, light menstrual periods and muscle weakness. Hypothyroidism is characterized by an underactive thyroid, and symptoms include lethargy, reduced heart rate, numbness or tingling in the hands, increased cold sensitivity, reduced heart rate, heavy menstrual periods, development of goiter and constipation, according to WebMD.
Hyperthyroidism involves theproduction of too many thyroid hormones, while hypothyroidism involves theinsufficient production of thyroid hormones. Another condition that can cause thyroid problems is sub-acute thyroiditis, which involves a thyroid that appears tender to the touch with mild to severe pain in the thyroid gland. Those suffering from the condition also experience discomfort or pain when turning the head or swallowing. The symptoms may be noticeable following a bout with measles, mumps, the flu or other viral infection.
Treatment for most thyroid problems involves taking medication to replace missing thyroid hormones in the body in the case of underactive thyroid disease. Treating the symptoms caused by an overactive thyroid is the standard treatment for hyperthyroidism. For example, if increased heart rate is a problem, then medications to control it might be prescribed, as reported by MedicineNet.