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From SNPedia

Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid or low thyroid, is a common disorder of the endocrine system. It can cause a number of symptoms, such as poor ability to tolerate cold, a feeling of tiredness, constipation, depression, and weight gain. (Wikipedia)

Thyroid hormone is required for the normal functioning of numerous tissues in the body. In health, the thyroid gland predominantly secretes thyroxine (T4), which is converted into triiodothyronine (T3) in other organs by the selenium-dependent enzyme iodothyronine deiodinase. Triiodothyronine binds to the thyroid hormone receptor in the nucleus of cells, where it stimulates the turning on of particular genes and the production of specific proteins. (Wikipedia)

In Western countries, hypothyroidism occurs in 0.3–0.4% of people. Subclinical hypothyroidism, a milder form of hypothyroidism characterized by normal thyroxine levels and an elevated TSH level, is thought to occur in 4.3–8.5% of people. Hypothyroidism is more common in women than men, and people over the age of 60 are more commonly affected.(Wikipedia)

Hypothyroidism may also be partly caused by dysregulation in the various DIO (deiodinase) genes that produce enzymes that metabolize and catabolize thyroid hormones throughout the body. See further information on the DIO2 gene page.

See also SNPedia pages on Autoimmune thyroiditis and Hashimoto's thyroiditis for more genetic information and citations.