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Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid doesn’t create and release enough thyroid hormone into your bloodstream. This condition causes your metabolism to slow down and can affect your entire body.  If left untreated, it can cause a variety of health problems such as weight gain, fatigue, heart disease and infertility.

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms usually develop over time, sometimes years, depending on the severity of the hormone deficiency.  As your metabolism continues to slow, you may develop more obvious problems.

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Weight gain
  • Puffiness in the face and eyes
  • Hoarseness in your voice
  • Muscle weakness and soreness
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
  • Thinning hair
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Depression
  • Impaired memory (brain fog)
  • Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)


Your doctor may test for an underactive thyroid if you are feeling increasingly tired, have dry skin, constipation and weight gain, or have had previous thyroid problems.

The diagnoses for this condition are based on your symptoms and results of blood tests. The blood test used is called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test, which will measure the level of TSH and the level of thyroid hormone thyroxine.