What is Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a disorder that occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone to meet the body’s needs. Thyroid hormone regulates:

  • metabolism
  • the way the body uses energy
  • affects every organ in the body

Hypothyroidism left untreated can cause a multitude of health issues:

  • infertility problems
  • miscarriages
  • birth defects
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease
  • death

The most common type of  Hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the thyroid gland.  Essentially, the immune system recognizes the thyroid gland as something that shouldn’t be in the body, similar to when the immune system is fighting  off a cold or the flu. Here’s an analogy to help you better understand how the immune system kills the thyroid gland. Imagine a water balloon as your thyroid gland. Now imagine that your hand is your immune system. If you take your hand and put pressure on the water balloon, what’s inside will slowly be released. Once you put enough pressure on the water balloon that it bursts, there is no more water inside. In comparison, the immune system puts pressure on the thyroid gland and when it does it is slowly squeezing thyroid hormones out. We are born with a certain amount of thyroid hormone to last us our lifetime and once the hormones start to disappear, hormone replacement is required.

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