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Hypothyroidism

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - We don’t talk about hypothyroidism that much but it is relatively common and very important to know if you have the condition.

Hypothyroidism is the medical term for an underactive thyroid. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to high blood pressure, lipid problems, cognitive problems and neuromuscular issues.

One in three hundred people have hypothyroidism and it is found more in women than men.

There are simple laboratory tests to detect the problem. Basically what is happening is that the thyroid is not making enough hormones to meet the needs of the body.

There are numerous symptoms of hypothyroidism including fatigue, constipation, hair thinning, weight gain and dry skin. All of these conditions can be caused by something else but hypothyroidism should be considered.