How would you feel if your doctor scored a 36% on their thyroid medical school exam?
If you consider that anything less than 60% is a failing grade…
…that’s taking failing to whole new level.
Would that make you be a bit skeptical about your diagnosis?
Maybe you would want to get a second opinion?
Of course… and rightfully so!
Well, I stumbled upon this thyroid infographic put together by the University of Utah Health Care program showing the common differences in symptoms between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
And I don’t agree with their assessment one bit.
They got it maybe 36% right.
Take a look and I’ll show you what I mean…
In this thyroid infographic, the University of Utah Health Care program provides a side-by-side comparison of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism symptoms.
And here’s where my issue lies…
Of the eleven hyper-thyroidism symptoms listed, I counted seven of which are actually very common hypothyroidism symptoms.
That means that only 4 (or 36%) of the hyperthyroid symptoms they listed are even valid.
And one of the four (irregular menstrual cycle) was listed for both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism!
So, I’m giving a free pass on that one.
Spreading poor information like this is dangerous.
It goes to show you why so many people are misdiagnosed and wrongly treated for hyperthyroidism when they are actually quite hypothyroid.
I’ve worked with a number of clients who have been misdiagnosed because of this when the signs were quite obvious.
In fact, there’s a super simple test you can do in the comfort of your own home that will show you just how hypothyroid you really are. It’s called the Ultimate Thyroid Testing Protocol.
7 Commonly Misdiagnosed Thyroid Symptoms
1. Trouble Sleeping
Trouble sleeping is actually one of the top five hypothyroid symptoms my hypothyroid clients experience.
When you become hypothyroid your body is forced to compensate by over-activating your body’s stress response.
As a result, you over-produce the stress hormone adrenaline.
High nighttime adrenaline is one of the most common causes of insomnia and night waking today.
If you woke to the sound of breaking glass in your home and you thought it was a break-in… you bet your adrenaline is going to surge.
Even if it was a false alarm, would you be able to go right back to sleep?
Of course not, the adrenaline will keep you wide awake for quite a while.
(Note: We’ve covered some simple ways to help you improve your sleep in this articles on “How To End Insomnia and Wake Up Refreshed With Hypothyroidism”.)
2. Enlarged Thyroid Gland
Today, an enlarged thyroid gland is more commonly caused by hypothyroidism than hyperthyroidism.
This is due to the effects of estrogen.
As a hypothyroidism sufferer, you estrogen production tends to increase while you lose the ability to detoxify it.
This is what makes you estrogen dominant.
Estrogen can directly block your thyroid gland by inhibiting the proteolytic enzymes that allow your thyroid gland to release thyroid hormone into your bloodstream.
Since your thyroid gland continues to produce thyroid hormone but can’t release it, your thyroid gland can swell from storing too much thyroid hormone.
Sure, you can go through periods known as a “thyroid storm” where your enlarged thyroid gland unloads too much thyroid hormone at one time.
This can push you into a temporary or transient state of hyperthyroidism.
However, this is truly an underlying hypothyroid problem as it’s a direct result of your thyroid gland being blocked.
3. Rapid Heartbeat
Many of the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism can exist at one extreme or the other.
And so we can see two hypothyroid people with opposite symptoms.
Heart rate is one of them.
Hypothyroidism sufferers can experience both high and low heart rate.
As mentioned previously, when you become hypothyroid your adrenaline levels can rise significantly.
And one of the primary effects of elevated adrenaline is an elevated heart rate.
Yes, hyperthyroidism or even taking too much T3 will also increase your heart rate.
But you can’t rely on heart rate as an accurate indicator of thyroid function either way.
4. High Blood Pressure
Like heart rate, blood pressure is another common hypothyroid symptom that can exist at one extreme or the other.
The hormone aldosterone plays a central role in the regulation of your blood pressure.
And many of the thyroid suppressive hormones and chemicals overproduced during hypothyroidism are also known to increase aldosterone and blood pressure.
High blood pressure is no more a hyperthyroid symptom than it is a hypothyroid symptom.
(NOTE: Want to learn how to lower your blood pressure safely and effectively? Take a look at this post on “5 Safe Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure and Support Your Thyroid“.)
High levels of thyroid hormone (T3) can make hyper-thyroid sufferers sensitive to adrenaline, resulting in anxiety.
Yet, it’s a common hypothyroid symptom as well, which can be caused by high adrenaline, high serotonin, or a “thyroid storm” as previously mentioned.
For example, for those with high adrenaline, adrenaline peaks at night (typically around 2am to 3am), which can cause you to suddenly wake with a racing heart and in a panic.
If you’ve ever experienced this scary event, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
But at the root of thyroid-related anxiety is the Hypothyroidism-Serotonin Anxiety Cycle.
(NOTE: Want to learn more about this dangerous Hypothyroidism-Serotonin Anxiety Cycle and how to stop it, click here.)
6. Weight Loss
Hopefully you’re beginning to see a recurring theme here.
Almost all of the symptoms we’re covering involve this over-activation of your body’s stress response.
And almost all of these symptoms can occur at one extreme or the other.
Weight gain/loss is no different.
Because I keep stats on m clients, I can tell you that close to 10% of them are suffering from extreme weight loss as opposed to weight gain.
This typically occurs when there is a chronic overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol.
One of the primary functions of cortisol is to break down muscle tissue to convert into sugar to keep your brain fueled and keep you alive.
When chronically overproduced, cortisol can lead to severe muscle wasting and the inability to maintain muscle mass and weight.
(NOTE: Want to lose weight while protecting your thyroid? Make sure you avoid these “4 Hypothyroidism Weight Loss Mistakes Sabotaging Your Thyroid“.)
7. Moist, Smooth Skin
While you might not see this as much of a negative symptom, the underlying cause is quite serious.
Ever wonder how many of those anti-aging wrinkle creams and lip plumping lip sticks work?
They use estrogen to create edema in the skin tissue to cause swelling for a fuller look.
But estrogen is anything but anti-aging.
As mentioned previously, it’s quite anti-thyroid.
So, although hypothyroidism oftentimes results in dry scaly skin, the opposite can be true as well.
I know the medical profession means well.
But they’re so far behind the times today when it comes to proper thyroid diagnosis and treatment.
And until they get up to speed on many of these common thyroid symptoms and what causes them… thyroid misdiagnosis will continue to be a major problem for thyroid sufferers all over.
Have you experienced any of these “hyper” symptoms while being hypothyroid? Let us know in the comments below.
(Note: Want to test your thyroid more accurately than blood labs, while doing it for free, at home, and in five minutes or less? Yes… it’s really that simple. Get Forefront Health’s Ultimate Thyroid Testing Protocol here for free!)