Hypothyroidism is a disease that makes the thyroid gland underactive and unable to produce enough hormones.
As a result of the body’s lack of thyroid hormone, patients can experience metabolic disorders.
Causes of hypothyroidism can come from disease, the effects of a number of drugs, to a lack or excess of certain nutrients. Check out the following explanation.
Causes of hypothyroidism
There are many reasons why the thyroid gland can’t produce enough hormones.
Reporting from the American Thyroid Association, here are some causes of hypothyroidism from the most common to the rare:
Autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and atrophic thyroiditis can cause the immune system that is supposed to protect the body to attack the cells of the thyroid gland. As a result, thyroid hormone production is reduced.
Some people who have a lump in the thyroid gland, thyroid cancer, or Graves’ disease will need to have the thyroid gland surgically removed. If the entire thyroid gland is removed, the effect is that the person can develop hypothyroidism.
Graves’ disease, goiter, thyroid cancer, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, head and neck cancer sometimes require radiation therapy and radioactive iodine. This therapy can affect the thyroid gland and cause hypothyroidism.
Some babies are born with congenital hypothyroidism. This condition causes the baby to have no thyroid gland, only a few thyroid glands, or an abnormally positioned thyroid gland.
A viral infection that attacks the thyroid gland can cause this gland to become inflamed. As a result, all thyroid hormone reserves in the body can be depleted. Inflammation can also trigger hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), then the thyroid gland becomes gradually underactive.
Some drugs, such as amiodarone, lithium, interferon alpha, and interleukin-2, can inhibit hormone production in the thyroid gland. This condition is susceptible to sufferers who have genetic factors for autoimmune thyroid disease.
The thyroid gland requires adequate amounts of iodine in order to produce thyroid hormones. If the level of iodine is too much or too little, the body can develop hypothyroidism.
The pituitary is the main gland that controls the thyroid gland to produce hormones. When this gland has problems due to tumors, cancer, or other diseases, the production of thyroid hormones is reduced.
Some diseases can also interfere with the performance of the thyroid gland and trigger hypothyroidism. Among these amyloidosis can accumulate amyloid protein, sarcoidosis can deposit granulomas, or hemochromatosis which makes iron accumulate in the body.
Hypothyroid risk factors
Apart from some causes of hypothyroidism, everyone can actually be at risk of developing this health problem.
However, there are some people who are more likely to develop hypothyroidism. Reporting from EndocrineWeb, here are some of them:
If you belong to a group at risk of developing hypothyroidism, do regular checkups. This disease can be detected through examination of the thyroid gland.