What Is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a condition where there is not enough thyroid hormone for the body to function properly. Since every cell needs thyroid hormone for its essential function, insufficient thyroid hormone will affect every function of the human body . A common symptom of hypothyroidism is the slowing of metabolism which often results in weight gain. It also affects numerous body systems including digestion, the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, the pulmonary system, the skin, hair growth, vision, musculature, fetal development, the reproductive system, and bone growth.
What Is Hyperthyroidism?
Similar to hypothyroidism, there are many causes for a hyperthyroid state. The most common is an autoimmune disease called Graves’ disease which is the cause of hyperthyroidism in eighty percent of cases. In Graves' disease, antibodies produced by the immune system stimulate the thyroid gland to produce too much T4. Other causes of hyperthyroidism are hormonal changes during the postpartum period, toxic multi-nodular goiter, toxic adenoma, Hashimoto’s (patients can be hyperthyroid at times), pituitary problems, over-medication with thyroid hormones and rarely, cancer. Hyperthyroidism occurs in one percent of Americans. Women have five to ten times the risk that men have.