Causes of a thyroid disease could be many; while sometimes, it may be a result of inappropriate TSH levels, at others it may be due to a swollen thyroid gland. Two common thyroid problems are an underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism) thyroid gland. Here is what triggers them.
[Read: Ways to Boost Thyroid Function]
Common Causes of Thyroid Problems
- Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: This autoimmune condition is the common cause of thyroid diseases, especially hyperthyroidism. In this condition, the body makes antibodies that destroy the thyroid tissue.
- Graves' Disease: In this thyroid disorder, the thyroid gland becomes large due to excessive secretion of thyroxin. It is an autoimmune disease that occurs as a result of the suppression of immune system. The antibodies produced by the immune system turns against the thyroid gland’s functioning by sticking on to the activating sites on the thyroid gland, to make thyroid gland produce more hormones.
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- Thyroiditis: This inflammatory condition makes thyroid gland produce triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). With excessive hormones leaking into the bloodstream, subacute thyroiditis (a kind of thyroiditis) may occur.
- Postpartum thyroiditis: Thyroiditis occurring after pregnancy may also trigger thyroid problems such as cause inflammation .
- Hyper functioning Thyroid Nodules: Toxic multinodular goitre, plummer's disease and toxic adenoma are thyroid nodules that can cause thyroid disorders. In this medical condition, one or more adenomas produce thyroxine in excess. The obvious characteristic of this disease is an enlarged liver.
- Iodine deficiency: Absence of iodine in one’s diet or high consumption of soy, corn and brassica plants (cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc.) may lead to sexual disorders in women such as stronger PMS, ovarian fibroids and cystic ovaries. Plants containing natural goitrogens may cause trouble, but these can be eliminated with proper cooking.
- Less-common causes: Surgical removal of thyroid gland, viral infections, pituitary problems, hypothalamus problems, radiation therapy of the gland for treating cancer and drugs such as lithium are among other common causes of thyroid diseases.
[Read: Precautions for Hyperthyroidism]
To confirm the diagnosis of a thyroid problem, you will need to seek a doctor’s assistance. The doctor will assess your thyroid gland and measure the levels of thyroid hormones. The other areas of the body where thyroid problems may reflect include skin, nails and hair. Some of the thyroid conditions may be treated with medicines, though some others may need a surgery.
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