What Are the Signs of an Underactive Thyroid in Men?

While the condition tends to be more common in women, symptoms in men with underactive thyroid glands, also referred to as hypothyroidism, include concentration difficulties, weight gain, aching muscles and low energy, explains Everyday Health. Men with underactive thyroids may also experience episodes of constipation and suffer from depression.

Additional signs of hypothyroidism in men include dry skin, cold sensitivity, weak muscles and swelling of the face, explains Mayo Clinic. The condition can also cause vocal hoarseness and thinned out hair. Untreated hypothyroidism can cause severe symptoms, such as low blood pressure, lowered body temperature and breathing difficulties.

Hypothyroidism in men typically occurs when the thyroid gland is compromised and becomes swollen due to immune system disorders or viral infections, explains MedlinePlus. Additional causes of the condition include radiation utilized to treat head and neck cancers, thyroid gland removal, birth defects, pituitary gland removal and certain medications. Individuals with overactive thyroid glands who are treated with radioactive iodine are also at risk of developing the condition. Hypothyroidism is commonly treated with low doses of levothyroxine, a medication that helps to balance out thyroid hormone levels. In most cases, individuals with underactive thyroid glands are required to take the medication for the rest of their lives.