Diseases & Conditions


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Hypothyroidism


Synonyms of Hypothyroidism
  • Myxedema

Disorder Subdivisions



    General Discussion
    Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by abnormally decreased activity of the thyroid gland and deficient production of thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland secretes hormones that play an essential role in regulating growth, maturation, and the rate of metabolism.

    Specific symptoms and findings associated with hypothyroidism may be variable, depending upon the age at symptom onset, the degree of thyroid hormone deficiency, and/or other factors. In many adults with hypothyroidism, the condition may be characterized by generalized fatigue and lack of energy (lethargy), muscle weakness and cramping, dryness of the skin and hair, incomplete or infrequent passing of stools (constipation), sensitivity to cold, and other symptoms. If the condition is present at birth (congenital hypothyroidism), associated symptoms and findings may become apparent during early infancy. These may include respiratory and feeding difficulties, listlessness, protrusion of the abdomen, constipation, dry skin, coarse hair, progressive accumulation of fluid within bodily tissues, and other associated abnormalities. Some affected infants may have progressive retardation of physical and mental development that becomes increasingly severe (cretinism) without early recognition of the condition and prompt treatment.

    There are several different causes of hypothyroidism. The condition may result from an underlying defect that is present at birth (congenital), such as improper development (dysplasia) or absence (aplasia) of the thyroid gland or biochemical (enzymatic) abnormalities. The condition may also develop later during childhood or adulthood (acquired) due to certain underlying disorders, the use of particular medications, or surgical removal of the thyroid gland. Although hypothyroidism most frequently affects adult females, the condition occurs in both genders and may become apparent at any age.

    Organizations related to Hypothyroidism
    • Hormone Foundation
      8401 Connecticut Ave
      Chevy Chase MD 20815
      Phone #: --
      800 #: 800-467-6663
      e-mail: hormone@endo-society.org
      Home page: http://www.hormone.org
    • MUMS (Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc) National Parent-to-Parent Network
      150 Custer Court
      Green Bay WI 54301-1243
      Phone #: 920-336-5333
      800 #: 877-336-5333
      e-mail: mums@netnet.net
      Home page: http://www.netnet.net/mums/
    • NIH/National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
      2 Information Way
      Bethesda MD 20892-3570
      Phone #: 301-654-3810
      800 #: 800-891-5389
      e-mail: nddic@info.niddk.nih.gov
      Home page: http://www.niddk.nih.gov
    • National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
      P.O. Box 544 or 224 South Maple Street
      Ambler PA 19002
      Phone #: 215-325-1306
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: info@celiaccentral.org
      Home page: http://www.CeliacCentral.org
    • Thyroid Society for Education & Research
      7515 S. Main
      Houston TX 77030
      Phone #: 713-799-9909
      800 #: 800-849-7643
      e-mail: thyroid@neosoft.com
      Home page: http://www.the-thyroid-society.org



    For a Complete Report

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html