Harvard Health Letter

Could those common symptoms be thyroid trouble?

Fatigue, brain fog, and weight gain are telltale signs that may be mistaken for other conditions.


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The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland is in the neck. It produces hormones that affect every cell in the body.

Are you feeling sluggish, fighting fuzzy thinking, and battling unexplained weight gain? Those are symptoms of many conditions, such as depression, fibromyalgia, and menopause. But they're also symptoms of an underactive thyroid, a condition called hypothyroidism. "Symptoms are often nonspecific, and since older adults generally have more of these nonspecific symptoms, their doctors may not think to test for hypothyroidism," says endocrinologist Dr. Jeffrey Garber, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of The Harvard Medical School Guide to Overcoming Thyroid Problems.

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