hypothyroidismmedical dictionary

<endocrinology> A deficiency of thyroid activity.

In adults, it is most common in women and is characterised by decrease in basal metabolic rate, tiredness and lethargy, sensitivity to cold and menstrual disturbances. If untreated, it progresses to full blown myxoedema.

In infants, severe hypothyroidism leads to cretinism.

In juveniles, the manifestations are intermediate, with less severe mental and developmental retardation and only mild symptoms of the adult form.

When due to pituitary deficiency of thyrotropin secretion it is called secondary hypothyroidism.

(11 Jan 1998)