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Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism, which is characterized by low levels of thyroid hormone, is the result of conditions affecting the thyroid gland, pituitary gland, or hypothalamus. Hashimoto's thyroiditis (sometimes called Hashimoto's hypothyroidism) is the most common cause. It occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland. This is more common in older women and is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in children.
The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located between the vocal chords and the collarbones, helps regulate a person's metabolism, which is the rate at which the body uses energy. Hashimoto's prevents the gland from making enough thyroid hormones for the body to work the way it should, which results in hypothyroidism.
(Click Hypothyroidism for more information on Hashimoto's and other causes of an underactive thyroid. This article explains the different types of hypothyroidism, lists possible symptoms, and describes how the condition is treated.)
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