What Is Hypothyroidism?

To understand what is hypothyroidism, let's understand the thyroid gland.

In short:
The thyroid is a hormone secreting gland. It is an important part of the endocrine system of the human body. The thyroid gland lies just below the "Adam's Apple", the protruding structure of the neck in the front of the body. It is a butterfly-shaped shaped gland.

There are two common causes of the thyroid disorders:
1. Hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid's hormonal secretions are increased pathologically.
2. Hypothyroidism, where the thyroid's hormonal secretions are decreased pathologically.

There are other major thyroid disorders also. We will see what is hypothyroidism here:

So, What Is Hypothyroidism?


As said earlier, when the hormones secreted by the thyroid gland pathologically are lower than or below the normal values, the condition is called hypothyroidism. The quantity of the thyroid gland (or any other gland for that matter) hormonal secretions (thyroid hormone), into the blood stream vary frequently, but when the hormonal secretions are decreased due to pathological conditions, then the condition of low hormonal secretions of the thyroid gland is called hypothyroidism. (Hypo means below or low, and "ism" means a condition or disease process.)

In medical terms, when the thyroid hormonal secretions become "underactive", i.e., in lower quantities than normally required for the body to function normally, it produces the condition of hypothyroidism. The symptoms produced by hypothyroidism are slowed heart rate, menstrual periods are frequent in heavy, inability to tolerate the cold, forgetfulness, hoarseness, intolerance to cold conditions, skin and hair become coarse and dry, fatigue (both mental as well as physical) and tiredness (fatigue and tiredness have different meanings in medical terminology. Fatigue is the constant and daily lack of energy while tiredness is the lesser form. Tiredness can be overcome by having a good rest but good rest or sleep does not relieve fatigue), and constipation. The tiredness felt is extremely high.

Hypothyroidism can affect both sexes, men and women, but women are more prone to have hypothyroidism than men.

Hypothyroidism is a very commonly seen thyroid disease, and it can also be treated easily. But, the patient usually neglects the symptoms produced by hypothyroidism and thinks that these symptoms are due to "the getting old". or due to stress factors or depression in life. Hence, the hypothyroidism condition goes undetected for many years.