I am possibly hypothyroid and having voice problems. How does the thyroid cause this?

Is it an actual physical thing, like pressure or chemical cause? Voice goes croaky and gravelly and then squeaky. I sound like an adolescent schoolboy sometimes, the other day I was making a phone call and the person I wanted to speak to was not available but his wife called "There is a gentleman on the phone for you". I am definitely female. Thoughts please.

22 Replies

  • I was aware that my voice seemed to be deeper at times. I have come to the conclusion it is due to the fact that I developed TPO antibodies and my thyroid was definitely slightly swollen. I couldn't bear any clothing or pressure near my neck. My TPO antibodies have gone down to zero after Gluten free and lacto free diet and the sensitivity near my thyroid has also gone down.

  • Hi crimple thanks for reply, I have not been tested for antibodies even though I have RA. Can' tell if thyroid swollen, but cerainly don't like even a small scarf near my throat. Docs reckon my TSH and T4 normal. Won't do any other tests. Usual story. I have tried gluten and lacto free but had difficulty keeping it going.

    Regards siskin.

  • Siskin, If your thyroid swells or you have a goiter it may compress your airway which will affect your voice.

    I had a large nodule which compressed my windpipe deepening my voice. Although I quit smoking years ago I assumed the smoking had coarsened my voice.

  • Hi Clutter, can't tell if thyroid is swollen.Endo felt my neck about 2 yrs ago said nothing wrong and I am not hypo.

    He was judging may appearance and only TSH & T 4making an assumption because I am slim, I can't be hypo. I come from a family of lean genes.

    Have not smoked.

    How did you know you had a nodule?

  • Siskin, 2 years ago you may not have had any swelling. Ask for your GP to palpate it now because the swelling may be recent.

    A visible lump appeared in my neck overnight. I'd been very unwell for more than 6 months, getting worse, without seeing a GP but as soon as the lump appeared I thought it might be a goiter as we have a family history of Graves. Symptoms seemed to be hyper but it turned out to be Hashimoto's and TSH was only slightly raised within range so no medication. Hemilobectomy was scheduled to remove the nodule to ease breathing and swallowing. FNA was inconclusive but histology found positive for Hurthle cell carcinoma so I had completion thyroidectomy 3 months later.

  • Thank you Clutter I have docs. appt. Weds week to see results of blood tests. I am going to insist on an ultrasound. If she refuses I will go private.

    My brother 71 has just been diagnose hypo and his voice is causing him probs. same as me. Can't talk before long, gets breathless. but he is now being treated.

    I will post if I have any news from my doc. Thanks again

  • I know that low thyroid affect smooth muscle and hoarse voice is a classic symptom. Lately I've found that acid reflux is also a low thyroid problem which causes a raspy voice as well, from inflamed vocal chords I would assume.

  • Thank you Heloise, I am not aware of having acid refluxe, but have had a persistent cough but the voice thing is new. I like the smooth muscle thought as I have a lot of pain in my muscles but because I have RA docs put all my woes down to that. I have many of the hypo symptoms, but no one will listen, have even changed my doc. practice after getting through 4 at the previous one.l

  • Do you happen to know what your TSH and T4 were, siskin? Also, you can have acid reflux or gerd and not be aware of it but it seems if you have a chronic cough, it may well be the acid causing it. I believe that the muscle is weak that keeps the acid down in your stomach which also causes reflux. Try not to wear tight waist bands and doing a lot of bending at the waist. Unless you like being mistaken for a man, lol.

  • Mmm I do wear tight waist bands and belts. think it is probably a psycological thing it holds me all together when I feel I am falling apart, but will take your advice. Thank you.

    TSH 2.7 (max3.5) T4 17 (max 21)

    Being mistaken for a man could perhaps be useful Ill have to work on that!!!!


  • I use to get hoarse with my hypothyroidism....and also acid reflux was a prob...I don't seem to get that anymore...I think they said prop my head up better in bed.,.that might be when they gave me zantac (Ranitidine)....

  • Hi dgleds, you say you got hoarse with hypoT, are you being treated now, or do you think it was the acid reflux being treated with zantac which helped? I do not have any symptoms of acid reflux. Can that be symptomless? as doc says my cough could be caused by that.

    Regards siskin.

  • Im still hypothyroid, but haven't had a hoarsness for a long time...I was sent to an ENT guy and he stuck a thing down my throat and said, "yup acid reflux on your vocal chords"...I had no symptoms, except I do remember a cough too...Pretty sure they gave me zantac, but in prescription form..You could try off the shelf lower dose to start...Funny I have read hypo can just have that too, so....hit and miss cross over things again...disease or not disease doing it...?

    I had a ton of stress as well around then...working with children and being hoarse is no good...plus even though I had no voice, my boss made me still read to the children...

  • Aw dgleds, some people can be so unkind what an unthoughtful boss. I am a firm believer that "what goes around comes around" we might never see or hear about it but I am sure it happens.

    I am going to press for an ultrasound if refused I will go private.

    Thanks for your reply to me.

  • Any time...

    Take care and keep happy:)

  • Sometimes it all presses on vocal chords, that's what happened to me prior to my Total Thyroidectomy. Two benign nodules were growing downwards into chest cavity and around my vocal chords. Do you know if you have any nodules? Have you had ultra sound to check that out?Acid reflux plays a huge part too. It took 10 weeks for my voice to come back after TT. It's mainly ok now just a small lapse every now n then. Reflux better too, but need low dose Omeprazole to control it.

    Valerie x

  • Hi Flowerpower_nafas. Thank you for replying. No idea if I have any nodules no ultrasound, and no symptoms of acid reflux.

    After I had my hip replaced June 2013 had a lot of sickness, so they gave me omaprazole which made me worse and I had to be re-admitted to hosp. Seems I may actually be low acid. Was once given losec also a PPI which made me so ill I was hospitalised for a month, it was me who suggested it was losec causing probs.

    Losec was given to me by a rheumy to protect my stomach from non steroidal anti inflammetries. Seems I my be intolerant of PPIs.

    Have got a new doc. who will still only test TSH and T4 but I will now press for Ultra sound. Regards siskin.

  • yes you could have a node...get that checked to be sure...

  • The "mucinous deposits" responsible for non-pitting oedema can affect the whole mechanism of the body. In places the mucin can push things out of alignment, apply pressure to nerves, connective tissue, etc. and add mass - which can be partly responsible for deepening of the voice.

    Hypothyroidism affects muscles - strength, ability to contract and relax, etc.

    Hypothyroidism affects the nervous system, the nerve themselves, the ability of the brain to control them, etc.

    Hypothyroidism can be responsible for acid reflux, poor absorption of certain substances, poor breathing, reduced B12 levels, ...

    In other words, numerous facets of hypothyroidism can contribute to changes in the voice - which is an extremely complicated human facility.


  • This article from 1959 might be of interest - don't take too much notice of the "in the elderly"!

    The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to the change in voice as an important clinical sign. I hospital practice during the past 15 months I have see 22 cases of myxoedema. In five of these the voice change was for me the only striking sign of the condition.



  • This article from 1959 might be of interest - don't take too much notice of the "in the elderly"!



  • Hi Rod, thank you so much for that article, I did take notice of "in the elderly" precisely because all the explanations I have been given are exactly those in the article. I am 76. My hair loss is cos of age, doc said normal "male pattern baldness".

    My poor gait is cos. have two new knees and 1 new hip and my poor balance is for the same reason. I feel cold cos that's what happens when you get old. When we get old we all get tired and need more sleep. I suddenly started getting swollen ankles, 1st time ever, non pitting oedeama and a change to an orangey colour in my legs where the swelling was, yes that was cos. I am getting old.

    My face looks exactly like the womans' in the pic. I have a photo of me but don't know how to upload as it is on my tablet and don't know how to get it on my laptop.

    I cried when I saw that description because it is all that I am.

    I was in a lift with my son the other day and saw myself in the mirror, I said to him that is not the face of an old person, that is a SICK PERSON.

    I have recently changed my doc. practice and had a whole raft of blood tests last Fri. so will see what they can find. Last TSH about month ago was 2.7 (max 3.5) T4 17 (Max 21)

    When I see doc. Weds week if nothing else wrong I am going to splash the cash and get tests from Genova or Blue.

    I feel that if I am vindicated I will shout from the roof tops how I was ignored.

    Rod thanks so much again. I will post my doc. appt. outcome


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