The opposite is hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid produces too much thyroid hormone. However, the link between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism is complex, and one can lead to the other, in certain circumstances.
Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism, or the way the body uses energy. If thyroxine levels are low, many of the body’s functions slow down.
About 4.6 percent of the population aged 12 years and above in the United States has hypothyroidism.
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.