Understanding Hashimoto’s: Common Symptoms in Women Over 40


Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the thyroid, is more prevalent in women, particularly those over 40. Understanding the symptoms is crucial for early detection and management. Here’s an insight into the most common symptoms experienced by women over 40 and how they impact daily life.


One of the hallmark symptoms of Hashimoto’s is an overwhelming sense of fatigue. Women over 40 often attribute this exhaustion to aging or their busy lifestyles. However, when the thyroid is underactive, it affects energy production at a cellular level, making fatigue more pronounced and persistent than usual.

Weight Changes

Unexplained weight gain is another common symptom, despite maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine. An underactive thyroid slows down metabolism, leading to weight gain. On the flip side, some women may experience weight loss if their condition swings toward hyperthyroidism in the early phases of Hashimoto’s.

Mood Fluctuations

Hormonal imbalances due to Hashimoto’s can lead to mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Women over 40 might dismiss these changes as menopausal symptoms, but they can be directly linked to thyroid dysfunction.

Hair and Skin Changes

Thinning hair, dry skin, and brittle nails are symptoms that women with Hashimoto’s frequently encounter. The slowed metabolism affects the regeneration and maintenance of hair and skin cells, leading to these noticeable changes.

Menstrual Irregularities

Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in regulating the menstrual cycle. Women with Hashimoto’s may experience heavier, more frequent, or irregular periods. These changes can be especially concerning for women over 40, who may be approaching perimenopause, as they can mask or mimic menopausal symptoms. My periods were insanely heavy. To the point that 

Cold Intolerance

A feeling of being perpetually cold, even in warmer environments, is a common complaint among women with Hashimoto’s. This symptom is due to the reduced metabolic rate, which affects the body’s heat production. There’s a reason we start selling HashiGirl™ sweatshirts in August every year! 

Muscle and Joint Pain

Women may experience muscle weakness, joint pain, or stiffness, often mistaking these symptoms for signs of aging or arthritis. However, these can be indicative of Hashimoto’s, especially when they persist without a clear cause.

Cognitive Issues

Brain fog, memory lapses, and difficulty concentrating are cognitive symptoms that can significantly impact daily life. Women over 40 with Hashimoto’s might find these particularly troubling, affecting their work and personal life.


Recognizing these symptoms is the first step toward seeking a proper diagnosis and treatment. Women over 40 experiencing these signs should consult with a healthcare provider for thyroid testing. Early intervention can manage symptoms, improve quality of life, and prevent complications.

If you’re over 40 and noticing any of these symptoms, don’t dismiss them as just plain ol’ signs of aging. Your thyroid could be sending you a message. Listening to your body, seeking help, finding a program that works for you, and making lifestyle changes can make a world of difference in managing Hashimoto’s and maintaining a healthy, active life.