What is Hypothyroidism?

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Hypothyroidism is a disease caused by a decrease in the normal function (hypofunction) of the thyroid gland. This means that the thyroid gland is not able to produce enough thyroid hormone to maintain normal body function.  

Hypothyroidism explained in first person

Professionals and patients explain how you live with the disease
It is a very common endocrinological disorder and if our treatment is adequate, we will find ourselves perfectly as a person whose thyroid functions with absolute normality.

When thyroid hormone levels are low, the body's cells cannot receive enough thyroid hormone and the body's processes are slowed down. This triggers a decrease in basal metabolism leading to increased feelings of coldness, tiredness, depression, dry skin, pallor, slight weight gain, memory impairment, sluggish digestion with constipation, muscle aches, and irregular or heavy menstruation. 

Because the symptoms are so varied and non-specific, the only way to know for sure if you have hypothyroidism is by having a blood test. 

How many people does it affect?

Hypothyroidism is one of the most common endocrine disorders. It is 5 to 8 times more common in women than men, with a prevalence of symptomatic forms of around 0.1% in men and 1.9% in women. The annual incidence is 0.4% in women and 0.06% in men. In people over 60 years of age the prevalence increases in both sexes and is around 0.5-5%. 

The prevalence of non-symptomatic (subclinical) hypothyroidism ranges from 4-10%. In pregnant women, the prevalence of symptomatic (overt) hypothyroidism ranges from 0.3-0.5%, while the non-symptomatic (subclinical) disease has an incidence of 2-3%. 

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Substantiated information by:

Felicia Alexandra Hanzu
Mireia Mora Porta

Published: 18 June 2021
Updated: 18 June 2021

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