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Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones to meet the needs of the body. The thyroid is underactive.

Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism, or the way the body uses energy. If thyroxine levels are low, many of the body's functions slow down. The thyroid gland is found in the front of the neck below the larynx, or voice box, and has two lobes, one on each side of the windpipe.

It is an endocrine gland, made up of special cells that make hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that relay information to the organs and tissues of the body, controlling processes such as metabolism, growth, and mood.

The production of thyroid hormones is regulated by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which is made by the pituitary gland.

This, in turn, is regulated by the hypothalamus, a region of the brain. TSH ensures that enough thyroid hormones are made to meet the needs of the body.

When the level of the thyroid hormones dips in the blood, then it is called hypothyroidism. It affects women in higher rates as compared with men and can affect pregnancy too. The causes behind this can be anything, ranging from the autoimmune diseases to the medications taken for the hyperthyroidism, which is to control the higher amount of thyroid hormones in the blood. When other glands in the body do not perform right, even this can lead to this condition. Iodine deficiency is another common reason for stimulating hypothyroidism.

A person suffering from hypothyroidism feels cold, sluggishness, loss of appetite and weight gain. Cretinism in the children leads to mental retardation and bone deformities.

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