Identifying Thyroid Problems – Part 2

This is the continuation of the first part.

Autoimmune disease is only one of the causes of hypothyroidism, other factors cause this condition, and these are

Treatment of Hyperthyroidism: An overactive thyroid is usually treated with radioactive iodine or antithyroid drugs. However, there are cases where treatment of hyperthyroidism has resulted in permanent hypothyroidism.

Radiation treatment: Treatment of cancer by radiation in the neck and head can sometimes affect your thyroid and cause hypothyroidism.

Thyroid surgery: Removing part or all of your thyroid gland will affect the production of hormones. You will usually need to take medication for thyroid hormones.

Medications: Some medications can cause hypothyroidism, such as lithium. It is essential to talk to your doctor about the effects of the medicines you are taking.

Other possible causes of hypothyroidism are – congenital disabilities, pituitary disorders, pregnancy, and iodine deficiency.

Hyperthyroidism is another condition commonly caused by an autoimmune disease, particularly Graves’ disease. Antibodies that attach to the thyroid gland cause it to produce more hormones. In addition to Graves’ disease, hyperthyroidism has other causes:

Toxic Nodular Goiter: A solitary hot nodule found in the thyroid gland can sometimes cause the thyroid to produce more hormones than usual.

Thyroids: Inflammation of the thyroid gland can produce an excess of hormones typically stored in the gland. Subacute thyroids and postpartum thyroids are the most common thyroid conditions that cause hyperthyroidism.

Medications: Excessive intake of thyroid hormones can also cause hyperthyroidism. It is essential to always check with your doctor before taking any medication to get the right dosage.

Abnormal TSH secretion – a problem with the pituitary gland can produce an abnormally high secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). This will signal the thyroid gland to produce more hormones.

Thyroid nodules are also a thyroid problem caused by Hashimoto’s disease, but the leading cause of thyroid nodules is iodine deficiency. A severe lack of iodine in your diet can cause thyroid nodules. Iodine is necessary for the production of the thyroxine hormone. Other causes of thyroid nodules are

Overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue – Also called thyroid adenoma. It is not clear why, but thyroid adenoma can sometimes cause the thyroid to produce hormones outside of the pituitary gland, producing more thyroid hormones than it needs.

Thyroid cyst: These fluid-filled cavities (cysts) result from the degeneration of thyroid adenomas. They are usually benign but may sometimes contain reliable malignant components.

Thyroid Cancer: The chances of nodules being malignant are rare—however, the risk increases depending on your medical history and your family.

Pituitary damage: Pituitary problems can also cause thyroid nodules.

Goiter is another thyroid problem that is caused by either Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s disease. An excess or lack of hormones can cause enlargement of the gland. Other causes of goiter are as follows:

Iodine deficiency: Lack of iodine in the body is the leading cause of goiter. It is essential in the production of thyroid hormones. Goiter is caused by the enlargement of the thyroid gland to obtain more iodine.

Multinodular goiter – Solid or fluid-filled lumps, called nodules, develop on both sides of the thyroid gland. This results in excessive enlargement of the gland.

Solitary thyroid nodules: A single nodule develops on one side of the thyroid. This also causes the gland to become enlarged.

Thyroid Cancer: This is a less common mass that develops in our thyroid gland. The cancerous mass can also lead to the formation of a goiter.

Thyroids: Inflammation of the thyroid gland can also cause a goiter due to swelling.

Pregnancy: A hormone produced during the first trimester of pregnancy (human chronic gonadotropin or HCG) can cause goiter. The gland confuses HCG with thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and expands in response to it.

As you can see, the actual cause of thyroid problems is still unknown. All issues have several factors to consider, but the real reason has yet to be identified (except for iodine deficiency). You may notice that one thyroid problem can lead to several other thyroid problems. It is essential always to consult your doctor, especially if you feel something different or abnormal about your thyroid gland.

If you take care of your problem early on, you can reduce it and save money.

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