Hypothyroidism is one of the most common thyroid disorders. One recent analysis suggested that up to one in 10 women over age 60 has clinical or subclinical hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is characterised by mental slowing, depression, dementia, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, hair loss, cold intolerance, hoarse voice, irregular menstruation, infertility, muscle stiffness and pain, and a wide range of other unpleasant symptoms. In fact, every cell in the body has receptors for thyroid hormone.
Though not as common as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism is often a more serious condition, because it is associated with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include palpitations, rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, weight loss, diarrhoea, anxiety, feeling warm even when others are not, increased appetite, and insomnia.
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