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Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)

Hypothyroidism means a reduced level of thyroid hormone.

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's thyroiditis. In this condition, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland.

Common symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) are:

  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Weight gain
  • Feeling cold
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Constipation
  • Slowed thinking

Whatever the cause, an under active thyroid leaves your body running in slow motion. Changes may include feeling cold, fatigue, diminished concentration and memory, and weight gain.

Depression also results from hypothyroidism. Up to 21 percent of all chronic-depression cases may be caused low production of thyroid hormones.

Studies have found that among women with mildly decreased thyroid function, the rate of those who had suffered depression at least once in their lives was almost three times as great (56 percent versus 20 percent) as among those with normal thyroid function. Often, unfortunately, patients who are treated for depression do not first get thyroid tests.



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