Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not make sufficient thyroid
hormone. Thyroid hormone regulates metabolism. Metabolism is the way the body uses
energy affecting nearly every organ in the body. Without sufficient thyroid hormone,
many of the body’s functions slow down.
The thyroid is a 2-inch-long, butterfly-shaped gland weighing less than 1 ounce.
Located in the front of the neck below the larynx and has two lobes, one on
each side of the windpipe. The thyroid is one of the glands that make up the endocrine
system. The glands of the endocrine system produce and store hormones and release
them into the bloodstream. The hormones then travel through the body and direct the
activity of the body’s cells.
The thyroid gland makes two thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). T3 is made from T4 and is the more active hormone, directly affecting vital tissues.
Thyroid hormones affect metabolism,breathing, muscle strength, heart and nervous system functions, body temperature, skin dryness, menstrual cycles, weight, brain development and cholesterol levels. (Wartofsky 2)
Hypothyroidism has several causes, including Hashimotos disease, thyroiditis, or
inflammation of the thyroid, or hypothyroidism that is present at birth, congenital hypothyroidism, surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid, radiation treatment of the thyroid and some medications.
Less commonly, hypothyroidism is caused by too much or too little iodine in the diet or by abnormalities of the pituitary gland.
Hypothyroidism has many symptoms that can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, a puffy face, cold intolerance,weight gain, constipation, joint and muscle pain, dry skin, dry, decreased sweating, thinning hair, heavy or irregular menstrual periods and impaired fertility, depression as well as slowed heart rate.
Hypothyroidism is a clinical state of thyroid hormone...