Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is a condition where the thyroid gland does not generate enough regulating hormones. When thyroid function is normal, the iodine from food is converted into thyroxine (T3) and triiodothyronine (T4). These hormones are responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism and overall metabolic rate. However, with hypothyroidism, less of these hormones are produced and this can make it difficult to maintain the appropriate weight, heart rate, and body temperature.
There are many causes for hypothyroidism including genetics, autoimmune disease, and taking certain medications. Common symptoms include general fatigue, cold sensitivity, weight gain, irritability, a slow heart rate, and sexual disfunction. Though hypothyroidism can have unfavorable consequences for one’s health, with the proper treatments and medications, the condition can be treated.