Thyroid Problems

Equip yourself. Learn about thyroid problems.

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath can show up in patients with various thyroid problems. For instance, it can be a symptom of lymphoma, which is a kind of thyroid cancer. It can also appear in Graves' disease (especially on exertion) and the emergency medical condition known as thyroid storm. Both of these latter two conditions are types of hyperthyroidism.

More about shortness of breath (SOB)

This medical situation is sometimes known by other names, one of which is the term dyspnea. If exertion is heavy, then it is normal to experience this sensation. It may point to an underlying issue if it shows up where it would not be expected.

Medical causes

Many issues aside from thyroid problems can lead to shortness of breath. Asthma is a particularly common reason behind it. Many cases are also brought on by pneumonia, an condition involving inflammation that impacts the lung(s). COPD is another condition that can be behind SOB -- this situation usually involves a case where the patient has both chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Congestive heart failure is another situation that can lead a patient to experience shortness of breath. Anemia is another medical reason why dyspnea may be present in a patient. Amongst the many other medical causes, one of the possibilities is cardiac tamponade.


Certain tests and other methods may be used in an attempt to diagnose what is medically behind the shortness of breath. For instance, the doctor first checks the patient's airway, breathing and circulation (known as ABC). Certain conditions might be noted through tests such as those done on the person's blood, as well as X-rays. Keep in mind that diagnosis is made by a doctor or other professional, and the information on this page is not intended to be a replacement for that kind of assistance.


Once the doctor has made a diagnosis, he then might prescribe a particular treatment based upon the underlying medical situation. Certain treatment options might also be employed for symptomatic relief for the patient. In some situations, physical therapy is used as a method of managing the dyspnea.

Read about other medical signs that appear in hyperthyroidism, Graves' disease, thyroid storm, or lymphoma, or look into general symptoms of thyroid problems. You can also return to the home page to browse other details on thyroid problems.