Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is extremely underactive. When the thyroid gland is underactive, it does not produce enough of the needed thyroid hormones for the body to function efficiently. An underactive thyroid can cause an increase in body weight, insufficient digestion, extreme fatigue, depressed immune system, and the inability to concentrate. It can also result in a decrease in the production of other hormones throughout the body. When the thyroid becomes underactive, it can create a chain of events that causes many other health conditions to become more pronounced.
The thyroid gland can become damaged due to an injury to the neck or as a result of an illness such as thyroid cancer. If the damage cannot be corrected or treated, the doctor may recommend removing the thyroid altogether. If this happens, the thyroid is treated with radiation to render it ineffective and then surgically removed. Once the thyroid stops working, the doctor will prescribe synthetic thyroid hormones that allow the body to function and help keep it in balance. These hormones will act just as the natural hormones did and act as a catalyst for other hormone reactions throughout the body.
The thyroid gland releases several different hormones that help to maintain the body's metabolism. The metabolism includes the regulation of blood sugar levels and digestive processes. It also helps the body to convert glucose into fuel and allows the cells to use that fuel to function. It is involved in the creation of energy that the body uses on every level from cellular function to the processes performed by each of the organs. The thyroid hormones act as catalysts triggering hormonal responses throughout the body, including the production of insulin and the release of estrogen that causes the ovaries to release an egg during ovulation.
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