Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a disorder of the endocrine system in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. It can cause a number of symptoms, such as poor ability to tolerate cold, a feeling of tiredness, constipation, depression, and weight gain. Worldwide, too little iodine in the diet is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. In countries with enough iodine in the diet, the most common cause of hypothyroidism is the autoimmune condition Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease when the body's own antibodies attack the thyroid and reduce the production of T3 and T4. The diagnosis of hypothyroidism, when suspected, can be confirmed with blood tests measuring thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine levels. Salt iodization has prevented hypothyroidism in many populations. Hypothyroidism can be treated with levothyroxine as well.

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