Thyroid complaints and over-fatigue

Everyone feels quite tired sometimes. It usually goes away when you rest and a good night’s sleep can do wonders. If the fatigue persists for a longer period of time, there may be an underlying problem. Fatigue can limit your daily life and can be very annoying. If your thyroid gland is not functioning properly, it can lead to extreme fatigue. This gland is located in the neck and cannot usually be seen or felt. A thyroid gland can work too fast or too slow or contain nodules.

Extreme fatigue

Everyone sometimes feels extremely tired and has no energy left to do anything. Usually a good night’s sleep or taking it easy for a few days will be enough to make you feel fitter again. You can become tired from both mental and physical exertion. In some people, fatigue persists and becomes chronic even when adequate rest is taken. If this means you can no longer function properly, there is a problem.

Causes of fatigue

Fatigue is a broad concept and can have many causes. It is not always clear where exactly it comes from. For example, if you suffer from insomnia or long-term stress, the cause is clear. As a result of the fatigue, you may become lethargic, be more irritated, get a headache or muscle pain or have difficulty concentrating. If you go to the doctor with this, he will investigate where the fatigue comes from. In some cases it is discovered that there are problems with the thyroid gland. It occurs more often in women than in men.

The thyroid gland

This small butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck has an important job. It is responsible for your metabolic processes and growth. It is located in front of the trachea and usually you cannot see or feel it. When it is swollen, a swelling becomes visible in the neck. The thyroid gland releases hormones, the most important of which are thyroxide and T3 . These control the metabolism. If this does not work at the right speed, the body’s energy is used too quickly or too slowly.

Overactive thyroid gland

If your thyroid gland works too fast, too many hormones are produced. This condition is also called hyperthyroidism . This accelerates both physical and mental processes in the body. An overactive thyroid can be the result of a disease, for example Graves’ disease or lumps on the thyroid gland. If your thyroid gland is overactive, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Restlessness and nervous
  • Always wanting to be busy
  • Can’t sleep well
  • Being emotional and irritable
  • Sensitive to heat
  • Shaking hands
  • Weight loss while having an increased appetite
  • Thirst
  • Diarrhea
  • Swollen thyroid gland

Underactive thyroid gland

The main causes of an underactive thyroid gland ( hypothyroidism ) are autoimmune diseases, hereditary conditions or side effects of medications. In an autoimmune disease, the thyroid cells are destroyed by the body’s own white blood cells, which see the thyroid cells as foreign. Because too few hormones are produced, physical and mental processes will proceed more slowly. Symptoms associated with an underactive thyroid are:

  • Fatigue despite getting enough sleep
  • Weight gain
  • More sensitive to cold
  • Thinner reddish skin
  • Depressive feelings
  • Less resistant to infections
  • Autoimmune problems
  • Restless feelings

Other conditions

Thyroid problems are common worldwide. For example, an enlarged thyroid gland, also called goiter, is a common problem. The thyroid gland can contain lumps that can be either benign or malignant. Lumps can be caused by cysts or a tumor. Sometimes this can be treated well with medication and sometimes surgery is required. Examples of diseases that cause a goiter include:

  • Graves’ disease, where too little thyroxine is produced
  • Thyroiditis, this is an inflammation of the thyroid gland
  • Iodine deficiency, usually seen in developing countries
  • Medicines
  • Have a predisposition to an enlarged thyroid gland


If you suffer from chronic fatigue and your doctor diagnoses a thyroid problem, you should be treated for this. A doctor pays particular attention to the thyroid gland and places on the body where thyroid problems may be noticeable, such as your skin, nails, hair, heart, weight changes and body temperature. The amount of thyroid hormone will be measured through a blood test. In some cases you will be referred to a specialist for further examination.

read more

  • Thyroid disease: Plummer’s disease
  • Thyroid complaints due to stress: symptoms and treatment