The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found at the base of the neck, just below Adam’s apple. It releases thyroid hormones, that control the growth and metabolism of basically every part of your body.
Hypothyroidism, also called low or underactive thyroid, is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain crucial hormones.
About one in 300 people in the US has hypothyroidism, according to data derived from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Women are 5 to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems.
Perhaps the most stunning statistics are that up to 60% of people with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.
Hypothyroidism signs and symptoms may include:
- thinning hair;
- increased sensitivity to cold;
- depression (16.2 million American adults have experienced a major depressive episode in the past 12 months);
- dry skin;
- enlarged thyroid gland (goiter);
- weight gain;
- impaired memory;
- puffy face;
- slowed heart rate;
- irregular menstrual periods (for women);
- stiffness, pain, or swelling in your joints;
- muscle weakness;
- muscle tenderness, aches, and stiffness;
- elevated blood cholesterol level.
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