Hypothyroidism is a condition wherein the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones that our body needs. This abnormality in the thyroid gland can possibly develop as early as birth or slowly over the years. Learn about the causes of hypothyroidism that can help you manage its tendencies to develop.
The 7 Common Causes of Hypothyroidism
When our thyroid gland becomes underactive and does not produce the expected amount of thyroid hormones, it hinders our organs to function normally and then slow down our body processes. There are different causes of hypothyroidism that we have to know about to better understand the condition. Below are the causes of hypothyroidism that you need to be aware of for either prevention or for treatment.
1. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland is an autoimmune disorder. It is more likely to occur in middle-aged women wherein the antibodies mistakenly attack the thyroid cells. This can lead to the inflammation and eventually an underactive thyroid gland.
Patients with Graves’ disease, thyroid cancer, or nodular goiter undergo radioactive treatment to remove their thyroid gland. People with the Hodgkin’s disease and lymphoma go through the same treatment which can cost a part (or all) of their thyroid functions as radiation can destroy the cells in the thyroid gland. This causes hypothyroidism.
3. Drugs That Affect The Thyroid Gland
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Another cause of hypothyroidism are prescription drugs like Amiodarone, interferon alpha, lithium, and interleukin-2 which can prevent the thyroid gland from its normal production of hormones. Such medicines can trigger hypothyroidism in patients who have the generative inclination to autoimmune thyroid disease.
4. Thyroid Surgery
Some people with thyroid nodules, Graves’ disease, or thyroid cancer need to have a surgery to remove a part of their thyroid. Leaving a part of the gland can still produce adequate thyroid hormones for our body functions. But if it’s the whole thyroid that’s taken, it causes hypothyroidism.
5. Congenital Hypothyroidism
From the term itself, congenital hypothyroidism occurs in a newly born child when the thyroid gland doesn’t function properly. There are cases when a baby’s thyroid gland doesn’t develop fully during conception or forms in a wrong place (ectopic thyroid) which causes hypothyroidism.
6. Too much (or too little) iodine
Our thyroid gland needs iodine to produce enough thyroid hormones. And so if your body lacks iodine, it affects the production. But, there are food sources of iodine that you can take which include shellfish, saltwater fish, dairy products, eggs, and seaweeds, and iodized table salt. However, you have to watch the amount of your intake because too much iodine can also or even worsen hypothyroidism.
7. Pituitary Gland Damage
The pituitary also known as the master gland, releases thyroid-stimulating hormones that tell the thyroid gland how much hormones to produce. When the pituitary gland is non-functional due to a tumor, surgery or radiation, it no longer signals the thyroid gland and so it can cease to produce enough hormone.
Watch this video and find out more about the hidden causes of thyroid problems!
The thyroid gland is a vital part of our body because it prompts our cells to perform a specific function at a certain rate. So when the thyroid gland doesn’t function well and hypothyroidism occurs, it messes with the standard operation of our organs. But, don’t let this condition interfere and stop you from living a normal life. Knowing the causes of hypothyroidism gives you a better idea on how to battle this disorder.
Do you know more causes of hypothyroidism? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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