Causes / Etiology of Hypothyroidism
There are many factors that could cause Hypothyroidism. These include:
- Autoimmune conditions/disease: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition. The e body produces antibodies against the thyroid gland. This is possibly because of a genetic flaw or viral or bacteria attack. These antibodies do not interfere with the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones.
- Hyperthyroidism Treatment: People being treated for hyperthyroidism (producing too much thyroid hormone) can get hypothyroidism as a side effect of their treatment.
- Thyroid Surgery: Removing all or part of the thyroid gland for other problems (hyperthyroidism or thyroid tumors) can cause hypothyroidism
- Radiation Therapy: Cancers of the head and neck region can be treated with radiation, which can affect the thyroid gland leading to Hypothyroidism.
- Medications: Some medications (lithium, amiodarone …) can affect the thyroid gland leading to hypothyroidism.
- Congenital Disorder: Birth defect of the thyroid gland or no thyroid gland at birth can lead to Hypothyroidism. There is also an inherited form that is present at birth.
- Pituitary Disorder: Pituitary gland failing to produce enough thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) can cause hypothyroidism.
- Mineral Deficiencies: Deficiencies in iodine, selenium and zinc can lead to hypothyroidism. Small amounts Iodine is required for the production of thyroid hormones. Iodized salt virtually eliminated this problem, but the advent of low salt diets and the use of designer and natural salts may cause a resurgence of the problem. Selenium and zinc are vital to thyroid health and proper functioning.
- Pregnancy: Some women develop hypothyroidism during or after pregnancy. If let untreated there is an increase risk of miscarriage, premature deliver and preeclampsia (rise in mother’s blood pressure).
- Subacute thyroiditis: an inflammation of the thyroid, often after a respiratory infection, causes a decrease in hormone production. Usually this is temporary.
- Thyroid Dysfunction Syndromes: several additional syndromes have been identified that can lead to hypothyroidism. These results in abnormalities in the hormones or certain proteins the affect thyroid hormone conversion or response to the hormones themselves.