man holding his throat because it is seemingly quite sore

Hidden Thyroid Issues in Men: Are You at Risk?

Here's how to tell if your gland is glitchy.

Chances are good you know at least one woman with a thyroid disorder. After all, 1 in 8 women will have an issue with their thyroid gland (1). But men aren’t immune—in fact, experts say that thyroid disease in men is likely underestimated and approximately 20% of thyroid disorders are found in men.

If your thyroid—a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your throat—pumps out too much or too little hormone it can have a major impact on your life. 

An out-of-whack thyroid can impact your weight, your energy levels, your digestive system, your immune system, your sex life, and more.

The good news: correcting thyroid issues can help you get back to normal (2).

The best way to get thyroid issues under control before they can control you: learn the signs of an over- and under-active thyroid gland. 

If any of the symptoms below feel familiar, make an appointment with your doctor.

Signs You Might Have a Thyroid Problem

The symptoms of thyroid disease vary based on how much—or how little—of the hormone is in your system.

They’ll also vary based on what’s causing the problem. 

If the issue develops in the thyroid gland itself, you’ll likely have different symptoms than if the issue stems from another disorder related to the thyroid, such a problem with the pituitary gland.

Your thyroid can work too hard, or not hard enough. Let’s look at the signs and symptoms of both:


Having too little thyroid hormone (called hypothyroidism) can impact literally every organ system in your body.

In many cases, hypothyroidism is caused by Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune condition where your immune system attacks your thyroid gland and damages it.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism can be wide-ranging and may come on suddenly (like a bump on your thyroid gland) or emerge slowly, making it harder to identify that the problem is with your thyroid rather than another hormonal imbalance such as low testosterone

Some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism in men include:

Hypothyroidism at a Glance

  • If your thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, it’s called hypothyroidism
  • Most cases of hypothyroidism in men are caused by an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s disease
  • Hypothyroidism can show up as fatigue, weight gain, a low sex drive, dry skin, and other symptoms.


If having too little thyroid hormone can make you feel so awful, you might think more thyroid hormone is better. You’d be wrong.

Hyperthyroidism—an excess of thyroid hormone—can also cause full-body symptoms that vary from person to person. But some of the more common red flags include (3):

Hyperthyroidism at a Glance

  • If your thryoid produces too much thryoid hormone, it’s called hyperthyroidism
  • Signs of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, fatigue, excessive sweating and a sensitivity to heat or cold

Thyroid Issues in Men

In addition to the above symptoms (which can impact women, too) men have unique symptoms when it comes to thyroid disease, including premature balding, a diminishing sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and delayed ejaculation.

In guys, glitchy thyroids can cause below-the-belt troubles. Both hypo- and hyperthyroidism alter the amount and effects of circulating sex hormone levels and cause changes in libido and sexual function. A whopping 64 percent of hypothyroid men report having a low libido, erectile dysfunction, and delayed ejaculation (4).

Hyperthyroidism is also linked to a low libido (5) and erection issues, except instead of finding it hard to ejaculate, you may find yourself shooting earlier than you’d like (6).

Premature ejaculation (PE) has been linked to hyperthyroidism, though experts aren’t quite sure why. Fortunately, studies show treating thyroid issues can substantially improve the problem (7).

Thyroid issues can also crash your mood. Some men with thyroid issues are mistakenly diagnosed with depression since the symptoms are so similar. So if you’re being treated for depression and the meds don’t appear to be helping, it’s worth asking your doctor to check your thyroid.

Hormone Health

How Do I Know If I Have a Thyroid Problem?

If your spidey senses are tingling after reading the symptom list above, make an appointment with your doctor. He or she can order some blood tests to determine if your gland is at the top of its game:

a man who is tired because of thyroid issues
Having too much—or too little—thryoid hormone can make you tired

Treatment for Thyroid Issues in Min

Treatment of thyroid disorders will largely depend on whether you’re producing too much or too little thyroid hormone, and what’s causing it. If your thyroid isn’t producing the right level of hormones because of a nodule or tumor, you may need a biopsy to determine whether it is cancerous or benign.


If your thyroid levels are too low, your doctor can prescribe daily synthetic thyroid hormone to get them back where they belong.

As your hormone levels rise, your symptoms should diminish.


An autoimmune disorder called Grave’s disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism for men, though tumors can also make the thyroid gland overproduce.

To get your production of thyroid hormone back to where it should be, your doctor has a few options:


What are the risk factors for thyroid problems in men?

Any man can develop thyroid issues but your odds increase if:

How do I do a self-check?

Lab tests are the best way to determine if you have thyroid disease. But if you see or feel any irregularity over the front of your neck just below your Adam’s apple, it’s a good idea to have your doctor check it out.

The Bottom Line

Thyroid issues may seem like they don’t impact men, but are actually most likely underreported. If you are feeling symptoms of fatigue, unusual weight gain or loss, decreased libido or sexual dysfunction, talk to your doctor.