The Encarta Dictionary defines the prefix “hypo” as “unusually low” and the suffix “ism” as “unhealthy state.” Hypothyroidism thus means that the thyroid is unhealthy because it is not producing sufficient thyroid hormones.

Hypothyroid Symptoms

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has set forth the following symptoms of hypothyroidism:
•    Fatigue
•    Weight gain from fluid retention
•    Dry skin and cold intolerance
•    Yellow skin
•    Coarseness or loss of hair
•    Hoarseness
•    Ataxia (loss of muscle coordination)
•    Constipation
•    Memory and mental impairment
•    Decreased concentration
•    Depression
•    Irregular or heavy menses and infertility
•    Myalgia (muscle pain)
•    Hyperlipidemia (an excessive level of fats or lipids in the blood)
•    Bradycardia (slow heart beats)
•    Hypothermia (below normal body temperature)

What Are The Causes of Hypothyroidism?
There is one specific disease and a number of conditions that often lead to hypothyroidism.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is caused by an autoimmune disorder. In this disease the inflammation causes the loss of thyroid cells which leads to a lower amount of thyroid hormones being produced.


Hypothyroidism develops frequently during pregnancies. The reason is not clear, but it is a condition that many endocrinologists strongly recommend be tested for because this condition is thought to be the cause of pregnancy problems and can harm the fetus.
Postpartum Thyroiditis

As we state above, postpartum thyroiditis often leads to hypothyroidism.
Diabetes Mellitus

Insulin is a hormone that the body uses to help the body properly utilize glucose (sugar) for energy. Insulin is produced by the pancreas gland, one of the important glands in the endocrine systemDiabetes Mellitus is a disease caused by the buildup of glucose because the body’s insulin is not properly handling glucose. It is estimated that ten percent of the people with diabetes mellitus either have or will develop hypothyroidism.

Infertility and Menstrual Problems

Endocrinologists believe that people suffering from infertility or menstrual problems often have hypothyroidism.

Lithium Therapy

Many people taking lithium develop hypothyroidism.


Increasingly, it is being determined that people with the symptoms of depression actually have hypothyroidism.