Located in the middle of the neck, the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland is responsible for producing thyroid hormones. These hormones are imperative in maintaining the body's metabolism.
Hypothyroidism refers to underactivity of the thyroid gland. When the thyroid gland is underactive, it produces insufficient thyroid hormone which could cause a "slowing down" of various bodily functions.
Another way the thyroid gland could malfunction is by producing excessive thyroid hormone. This condition is known as hyperthyroidism, learn more about hyperthyroidism here.
The symptoms may differ from individual to individual. At a glance, here are the common symptoms associated with hypothyroidism:
Patients are required to undergo blood tests to measure Thyroxine (T4) and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels. Blood tests with high TSH levels but low T4 levels are indications of hypothyroidism.
This diagram illustrates how the thyroid receptor antibody (TRAb) stimulates the thyroid, causing the overproduction of thyroid hormone (T4)
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