The term hypothyroidism refers to an underactive thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in the neck and is an important endocrine organ that produces the thyroid hormones, important hormones responsible for the regulation of metabolism.hypothyroidism

Some of the common signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, fatigue, depression, sensitivity to the cold, dry skin and hair, muscle ache, constipation, and loss of libido. In women, the condition can also cause irregular or heavy periods.

If hypothyroidism is left untreated, the thyroid gland may swell and give rise to a goitre or lump in the throat. Other complications that may eventually occur include heart disease, pregnancy problems and even a life-threatening condition called myxoedema, where extremely low thyroid hormone levels cause hypothermia, confusion and drowsiness. In children, hypothyroidism can delay growth and impair intellectual ability, symptoms that are referred to as cretinism in severe cases.

Diagnosis of this condition is based on symptoms and blood tests to assess the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine level. Hypothyroidism is managed with hormone replacement therapy to help raise the thyroxine level. Patients normally require life-long treatment, but are usually able to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Here, various immune cells and antibodies present in the body attack the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism is more common among women than men, affecting 15 in every 1000 women compared with 1 in every 1000 men.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2019, February 26). Hypothyroidism. News-Medical. Retrieved on February 02, 2023 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Hypothyroidism.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Hypothyroidism". News-Medical. 02 February 2023. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Hypothyroidism.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Hypothyroidism". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Hypothyroidism.aspx. (accessed February 02, 2023).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2019. Hypothyroidism. News-Medical, viewed 02 February 2023, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Hypothyroidism.aspx.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
You might also like...
COVID-19 vaccine can elicit a distinct T cell-dominant immune-mediated hepatitis