Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones affect the metabolic processes of the body. Hypothyroidism can be caused by conditions of the thyroid as well as other disease which may indirectly affect the thyroid. Women are affected by hypothyroidism more than men, especially as they age. The incidence of hypothyroidism increases significantly in the elderly. Low thyroid hormone levels decrease metabolism (how energy is used), and increase the risk of other health issues such as heart disease and problems of pregnancy.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/5/2014
Stephanie L Lee, MD, PhD, FACE
Sonia Ananthakrishnan, MD
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