• >10 million Americans suffer from hypothyroidism
  • Sounding low, rough, hoarse or experiencing reduced range & vocal fatigue are signs of hypothyroidism
  • 2%–98% of patients with hypothyroidism suffer from these voice changes

Hypothyroidism affects about 10 million Americans and the condition gets more common with age. It is more pronounced among people over 60 years old and women are more likely to suffer from it compared to men.

Some symptoms of hypothyroidism in voice include reduced range, lower voice, vocal roughness, and vocal fatigue.

Hormones play a major role in voice quality and thyroid hormones, in particular, affect the voice. Although the association between thyroid hormone and the voice box remains insufficiently investigated, the position of the gland and the way it is connected with the larynx can justify the presence of voice changes during a thyroid disorder such as hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland is located just below the voice box. In cases of thyroid disorders, a thyroid nodule might press on the voice box and can lead to several changes in voice or cause hoarseness.

Thyroid gland disorders can lead to minor changes in the acoustic voice parameters and are particularly noticeable among hyperthyroidism patients. Changes in voice can also occur during cases of mild thyroid failure. Dysphonia, a condition that causes difficulty in producing vocal sounds, occurs as a result of excessive thyroid hormone secretion.

Thyroid gland diseases and disruptions in the parathyroid gland functions are the most common thyroid gland disorders caused by hyperthyroidism. The condition is also responsible for causing tissue irritation.

Patients with hypothyroidism commonly sound Hoarse. According to the 2019 study published in the Eurasian Journal of Medicine: “the mechanism of action of the thyroid hormone to the voice amongst hypothyroidism patients remains unknown but it is believed to be related to the increased levels of polysaccharides and the fluid accumulation in the lamina propria in the vocal folds, paresis of the cords due to the thyroid gland enlargement, myxedema of the cricothyroid muscle, and neural edema of the vagus nerve." Such thickening of the gland can lead to a decrease in the vibratory capacity of a person’s voice.

Hypothyroidism patients who are singers tend to complain about the limitations associated with the higher vocal range and vocal fatigue they experience due to this health condition. Several singers with hypothyroidism found improvement in voice clarity after taking small doses of thyroid hormone replacement.

voice changes in hypothyroidism nastya_gepp, Pixabay