Hypothyroidism is an under-active thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid gland can’t make enough thyroid hormone to keep the body running normally. People are hypothyroid if they have too little thyroid hormone in the blood.
What is a thyroid?
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine (makes hormone) gland that is normally located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroid’s job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body.
Thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should.
If the thyroid hormone starts to slow, you may notice that you feel colder, you tire more easily, your skin may getting drier, your nails more brittle, you may become forgetful and depressed, and you may start having constipation. Some persons experience weight gain, some experience neck/throat swelling as the thyroid enlarges. Women may even experience heavier periods.
Hypothyroidism does appear to run in families.
There is no cure for hypothyroidism, only hormone replacement. With proper treatment, symptoms should start to resolve. Over a person’s lifetime, their hormone dosage may change.