By hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland is producing too less hormones to stimulate the metabolism or the body is not able to utilize the hormones. The lack of thyroid hormones slows down the metabolism and thus all the activities in the body, giving a combination of many symptoms related to slowness of bodily processes.
Hypothyroidism is common, but the frequency of the condition is not well determined. Some authorities estimate that 0.5% of the total American population have the disease to some degree. The frequency is much greater among people over 50 years of age than among young people.