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A person who has hypothyroidism suffers from an underactive thyroid, meaning that it doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone. This can cause the body to work inefficiently because it lacks some of the necessary components. There are different causes of hypothyroidism, ranging from diet to disease. For each case, there is a range of available treatments. Keep reading below to find out ten causes and symptoms of hypothyroidism.

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Genetic Defects

In some cases, hypothyroidism may be caused by genetic problems, leading to irregularities in hormone production. There are a variety of genes that control thyroid function, and when something goes wrong with them, hypothyroidism may occur. Luckily, if genetics are to blame, then the exact cause can be pinpointed at birth or during the early stages of life. Hypothyroidism can manifest itself in different ways, ranging from mild to severe symptoms. One of the most frequent signs of hypothyroidism is fatigue, which can be persistent and highly troublesome. Talk to your doctor about treatment options for fatigue.

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Pituitary Problems

Another common cause of hypothyroidism is a malfunction of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland isn't a part of the thyroid gland, but rather it refers to the gland that regulates thyroid function. When a problem develops in the pituitary gland, it can result in unwanted consequences for the thyroid, such as irregularities in hormone production. A range of problems can arise in the pituitary gland, each with their characteristics. As a result, a variety of different conditions may develop, one of which is hypothyroidism. If you experience increased sensitivity to cold, you may have hyperthyroidism, as the pituitary gland is responsible for regulating body temperature.

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Growth In The Thyroid

A potential cause of hypothyroidism is related to the presence of unusual growths in the thyroid, which may interfere with the production of hormones. Such growths can invade healthy tissue and destroy existing cells, significantly reduced thyroid function. There are many conditions which can cause growths to develop in the body, including cancer. Sarcoidosis is a relatively common type of autoimmune disorder that causes tissue to form around the body, eventually leading to hypothyroidism, amongst other symptoms.

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Medications

The use of certain medications may interfere with thyroid function, potentially resulting in hypothyroidism. Many frequently used medications, such as Amiodarone, can affect the release of some hormones. Amiodarone is mostly used to treat conditions of the heart, and it has a high content of iodine, a chemical which may interfere with the thyroid. Medicine used to treat overactive thyroid glands may also cause similar problems.

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Malfunctioning Thyroid

For some people, the cause of hypothyroidism has little to do with factors, such as medications or genetics, but rather the cause may be the thyroid itself. There are numerous reasons as to why your thyroid might be problematic; previous surgeries, for example, can have secondary effects on thyroid function. In certain situations, the thyroid must be completed removed to avoid further complications. Luckily, in such grave circumstances, hormone treatment can be given to combat symptoms.

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Autoimmune Diseases

A wide range of autoimmune diseases can affect thyroid function, including rheumatoid arthritis as well as type 1 diabetes. An autoimmune disease is any condition that causes the body to attack its cells. For example, many diseases cause the body to mistakenly interpret healthy cells as dangerous ones, destroying them in the process. While not all autoimmune diseases cause hypothyroidism, some can inhibit adequate thyroid function. If you notice symptoms of hypothyroidism developing, it's a good idea to get a check-up to determine the cause.

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Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

Of all the conditions that affect the thyroid, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is amongst the most common. In fact, this ailment affects up 10% of all women above the age of 30. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is considered an autoimmune disease, meaning a condition that causes the body to attack itself. This can trigger a range of symptoms, from mild to more severe manifestations. One of the most frequently observed symptoms is fatigue, which can fluctuate over time and become overbearing, regardless of the amount of time you sleep. Continue to monitor your fatigue levels to determine whether you might have hypothyroidism.

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Radiation therapy

Naturally, any form of cancer treatment is bound to be harmful and damaging to the body. While in the long term most cancer treatments end up achieving their primary goal to destroy cancer cells, they can cause some pretty nasty side effects, including damage to the healthy cells of the body. This can have dangerous consequences for the thyroid, as it can severely limit its functioning, therefore possibly causing hypothyroidism. In addition to the condition mentioned above, radiation therapy can give way to a series of problems with other organs, including the skin. To treat the symptoms posed by this form of treatment, special medicine can be administered.

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Lack of Iodine

For the thyroid to work optimally, it must receive a certain amount of nutrients, such as iodine. When it comes to different elements, iodine stands out for its relative importance. The thyroid takes in iodine and converts it into various hormones, including thyroxine. Because only thyroid cells can absorb iodine, it is important that the body is supplied with sufficient amounts of this component. Iodine is available in a range of foods. It is also available as a supplement.

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Grave's Disease

A possible cause of hypothyroidism is Graves's disease, a relatively uncommon disease that causes the thyroid glands to become enlarged. This leads to unusual amounts of hormone secretion in the body, resulting in different symptoms. Grave's disease is a type of autoimmune disease, meaning that the body attacks itself. It mostly manifests in adults, but it may also appear in patients of different ages. Due to the effects of the disease, you may notice different symptoms in the body.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.