What is thyroid hormone, what does it do, what are the symptoms of deficiency?

Thyroid hormones are crucial regulators of metabolism and energy production in the body. Produced by the thyroid gland, these hormones influence nearly every cell and organ. Imbalances can lead to various health issues, from weight fluctuations to mood disorders. Understanding thyroid function is vital for overall well-being.

APA 7: ChatGPT. (2023, September 8). What is thyroid hormone, what does it do, what are the symptoms of deficiency? PerEXP Teamworks. [Article Link]

What are thyroid hormones?

Thyroid hormones are a group of essential chemical messengers produced by the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped organ located in the neck. The two primary thyroid hormones are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones contain iodine atoms and play a pivotal role in regulating various metabolic processes in the body.

Structure of triiodothyronine (T3, also called liothyronine)
Structure of thyroxine (T4)

What do thyroid hormones do?

Thyroid hormones have a wide-ranging impact on the body’s functions:

  1. Metabolism regulation: They control the rate at which the body converts food into energy, affecting overall metabolism.
  2. Body temperature: Thyroid hormones help maintain stable body temperature by influencing heat production and dissipation.
  3. Heart rate: They impact heart rate and cardiac output, ensuring efficient blood circulation.
  4. Brain development: Thyroid hormones are crucial for proper brain development during infancy and childhood.
  5. Digestive function: They influence digestive processes, including nutrient absorption and gut motility.
  6. Muscle function: Thyroid hormones help maintain muscle strength and coordination.
  7. Bone health: They support bone growth and maintenance.

Symptoms of thyroid hormone deficiency

When the thyroid gland fails to produce an adequate amount of hormones, it can result in a condition called hypothyroidism. Symptoms of thyroid hormone deficiency (hypothyroidism) may include:

  1. Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired and lacking energy.
  2. Weight gain: Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
  3. Cold sensitivity: Increased sensitivity to cold temperatures.
  4. Dry skin and hair: Skin and hair becoming dry and brittle.
  5. Depression: Experiencing mood changes, including depression and irritability.
  6. Constipation: Sluggish bowel movements and constipation.
  7. Muscle weakness: Muscle weakness and joint pain.
  8. Menstrual irregularities: Irregular menstrual cycles in women.
  9. Memory problems: Difficulty with concentration and memory.
  10. Swelling: Swelling, especially in the face and extremities (Edema).

Thyroid hormone deficiency can lead to a condition known as hypothyroidism, which is typically managed through hormone replacement therapy to restore normal thyroid function. Regular monitoring and treatment can help individuals with hypothyroidism lead healthy, symptom-free lives.


  1. WEBSITE Cleveland Clinic Medical. (n.d.). Thyroid hormone. Cleveland Clinic. [Cleveland Clinic]
  2. BOOK Lingvay, I., & Holt, S. E. (2011). The thyroid. Oxford University Press eBooks.
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