Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland does not make enough hormones. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck. A healthy thyroid makes the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These play many roles in the body, such as:
How many calories a person burns and how much they weigh
The speed at which the heart beats
The temperature of a person's body
How quickly the body breaks down food
If it is not treated, it can lead to many health problems, such as obesity and heart disease.
Hypothyroidism in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hypothyroidism-in-adults. Accessed February 10, 2021.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/hypothyroidism. Accessed February 10, 2021.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
James P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 2/10/2021
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