Symptoms of underactive thyroid 

Many symptoms of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) are the same as those for other conditions, so they can easily be confused for something else.

Symptoms usually begin slowly and you may not realise you have a medical problem for several years.

Common symptoms include:

Elderly people with an underactive thyroid may develop memory problems and depression. Children may experience slower growth and development. Teenagers may start puberty earlier than normal.

If you have any of these symptoms, see your GP and ask to be tested for an underactive thyroid.

Find out more about getting tested for an underactive thyroid.

If underactive thyroid is not treated

It is unlikely that you would have many of the later symptoms of an underactive thyroid as the condition is often spotted before more serious symptoms appear.

Later symptoms of underactive thyroid include:

  • a low-pitched and hoarse voice
  • a puffy-looking face
  • thinned or partly missing eyebrows
  • a slow heart rate
  • hearing loss
  • anaemia

Page last reviewed: 02/07/2013

Next review due: 02/07/2015