Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of certain important hormones.
Women, especially those older than age 60, are more likely to have hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism upsets the normal balance of chemical reactions in your body. It seldom causes symptoms in the early stages, but over time, untreated hypothyroidism can cause a number of health problems, such as obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.
The good news is that accurate thyroid function tests are available to diagnose hypothyroidism, and treatment of hypothyroidism with synthetic thyroid hormone is usually simple, safe and effective once you and your doctor find the right dose for you.
Nov. 10, 2015
- AskMayoExpert. Hypothyroidism. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Tintinalli JE, et al. Thyroid disorders: Hypothyroidism and myxedema crisis. In: Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Oct. 5, 2015.
- Hammer GD, et al. Thyroid disease. In: Pathophysiology of Disease: An Introduction to Clinical Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw Hill Companies; 2014.
- Hypothyroidism. The American Thyroid Association. http://www.thyroid.org/what-is-hypothyroidism. Accessed Oct. 6, 2015.
- Hypothyroidism. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/endocrine/hypothyroidism/Pages/fact-sheet.aspx. Accessed Oct. 6, 2015.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 13, 2015.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)