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Other Possible Underactive Thyroid Symptoms

People diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (the most common cause of an underactive thyroid) may have a goiter and a feeling of fullness in the throat.
Hypothyroidism can contribute to high levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol). High levels of LDL cholesterol can increase a person's chances for heart disease.
People with hypothyroidism may also develop sleep apnea. This is thought to be due to an increase in the size of the tongue. Celiac disease is four times more likely in people with an underactive thyroid, as is anemia.
Decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and delayed ejaculation are seen in two out of three men with hypothyroidism. In addition, carpal tunnel syndrome is common in people with an underactive thyroid, but it can be reversed with thyroid medicines.
In rare cases, severe untreated hypothyroidism may lead to myxedema coma. Myxedema coma may also happen following an accident, infection, or exposure to cold. This is an extreme form of hypothyroidism in which the body's functioning slows to the point that the person's life is in danger. Myxedema coma requires immediate medical treatment.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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