Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough hormones.
The thyroid gland is located in your neck, just below your Adam's apple. This butterfly-shaped gland produces hormones that regulate many of the body's processes, including metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which your body turns food into energy.
If the thyroid gland isn't working properly, it can cause a number of health problems.
Hypothyroidism is more common in women than in men, and it often occurs during middle age or later in life. It's also more likely to develop if you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or an autoimmune disease.
Hypothyroidism can also be caused by certain medications, such as lithium or interferon. Radiation therapy to the neck or head can also lead to hypothyroidism.
The most common symptom of hypothyroidism is fatigue. Other symptoms can include weight gain, constipation, joint and muscle pain, depression, and irregular menstrual cycles.
If you have any of these symptoms, it's important to see your doctor. Hypothyroidism can be easily treated with medication.
Left untreated, however, hypothyroidism can lead to a number of serious health problems, such as heart disease, mental health problems, and infertility.