Hypothyroidism results when production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland falls below the body's need. Thyroid hormone controls the metabolic rate. When the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormone, the person gets tired and run down. As the body's organs slow, the person has difficulty concentrating, may gain some weight and may experience constipation, cold intolerance and other problems.
Hypothyroidism is much more common than hyperthyroidism and may be present for many years before it is recognized. It affects approximately 2 persons in 100. The probability of having thyroid problems grows with age.
Women are three times more likely than men to have an underactive thyroid. In fact, as many as ten percent of women may have some degree of thyroid hormone deficiency.
Over five million Americans have some degree of hypothyroidism. Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the USA. This condition is characterized by inflammation and damage to the thyroid tissue.
In the 1960s, Dr. Broda Barnes proved that when thyroid function is low, the cholesterol level in the blood rises, and when thyroid hormone is administered, the level drops again.
Fibromyalgia patients benefit from thyroid treatment that includes the T3 hormone.
When hypothyroid patients are not diagnosed, or are inadequately treated with T4-only medications, the pharmaceutical companies make a fortune from the drugs prescribed to treat what are essentially hypothyroid symptoms. Abbott Labs made $541.3 million in 2000 on Synthroid alone. SSRIs are widely prescribed for depression; add in the profit the drug companies make from statins for cholesterol, pain medications for fibromyalgia, sleep aids for CFS and Fosamax for osteoporosis and the amount is staggering.