Hypothyroidism. Face of an 80- year-old woman suffering from hypothyroidism, a deficiency of the thyroid hormone in the body. The large swelling in her neck (goitre) is due to a swollen thyroid gland, as a result of it compensating for its lowered functioning. Other symptoms include mental and physical slowing, sensitivity to cold and weight gain. Hypothyroidism has a variety causes, including an autoimmune disorder (where the body's defence system attacks its own tissue) and removal of part of the thyroid gland during surgery. Treatment is with thyroid (thyroxine) hormone patches or tablets.
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