One disorder of the endocrine system affecting approximately 10 million people nationwide, hypothyroidism refers to a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient quantities of thyroid hormone to satisfy the body’s requirements. In addition to a slower-than-average metabolism, symptoms associated with the disease can include depression, diminished libido, fatigue, and weakness.
Hypothyroidism is often caused by thyroid gland inflammation, which is most commonly associated with the immune system and autoimmune thyroiditis. It can also result from medical treatments such as thyroid cancer surgery and radioactive iodine therapy, which may leave insufficient thyroid producing cells in place. Typically pharmaceutical in nature, hypothyroidism treatments include levothyroxine.