Causes of Hypothyroidism
There are various causes of hypothyroidism. Before you learn about the causes,
it's a good idea to understand the disease.
What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a medical condition that directly affects the thyroid gland. When you have hypothyroidism,
your thyroid is not creating enough thyroxine. Thyroxine is a hormone that is secreted from the thyroid gland, and
travels through your body's bloodstream.
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Thyroxine has a positive effect on your cells, and it helps
regulate your metabolism rate. Once your thyroid stops producing thyroxine at the same rate, your metabolism
slows down, you start gaining weight, and your body begins to retain water. Your body then begins to feel
tired and fatigued, your muscles ache and feel stiff, and you develop other problems too.
Hypothyroidism is generally misdiagnosed, because the disease disguises itself to look like the symptoms of many
other diseases. For this reason, many patients are given the wrong medication, which only helps clear up the
separate symptoms, but not the disease itself. With that being said, let's discuss the top 3 causes of
Here are 3 of the top causes of hypothyroidism:
Cause #1 - Iodine deficiency
Overall, iodine deficiency among the top causes of hypothyroidism. This is because many people in Third World, and
developing countries do not receive the proper amount of iodine in their daily diets.
Cause #2 - Under functioning pituitary gland
To understand just how complex the human body is, the pituitary gland also plays a function with our thyroid
gland. Located beneath our brain, the pituitary gland creates a thyroid stimulating hormone. If your pituitary
gland does not have enough of this hormone, your thyroid gland will not create
sufficient thyroxine, and this makes it one of the causes of hypothyroidism. This, as stated before, can slow down
Cause #3 - Thyroiditis
Another of the major causes of hypothyroidism is thyroiditis. Thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid
gland. There are four varieties of thyroiditis, and each needs a different method of treatment.
These types are:
Acute Thyroiditis is usually caused by a bacterial infection. This is one of the rare causes of
hypothyroidism and usually has symptoms of chills, fever, and pain in the neck. This infectious form of thyroiditis
happens normally in patients with weak immune systems. The neck is swollen, or a lump will form. The lump will need
to be removed, drained, or possibly treated with antibiotics.
Sub Acute Thyroiditis is a rare viral infection that sometimes appears following an upper
respiratory tract infection. The thyroid gland is swollen, and the patient usually has strong neck pain, which can
be felt in the ears, and even the jaw. The pain can last for weeks.
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is the most common causes of
hypothyroidism in the U.S. today. Hashimoto's Disease is an autoimmune disorder. What happens is the body tries to
attack the thyroid gland, mistaking it for an invading tissue that is causing your body harm.
Hashimoto's Disease affects women up to ten times more than men, and is usually fairly straightforward to treat.
The problem lies in the fact that this form of the disease only shows general disease symptoms, and is for this
reason difficult to diagnose.
Silent Thyroiditis (a.k.a. postpartum thyroiditis)
affects women after childbirth, and gets its name from the fact that there are usually no obvious symptoms.
The symptoms from general hypothyroidism can occur, but are generally a milder form of the symptoms. Women
develop silent thyroiditis within the first year of giving birth. The disease can normally detect a swollen
thyroid gland by using ultrasound, or through noticing high TSH levels.
Now that you understand the general causes of hypothyroidism, you should get a check up if you
notice some of these symptoms. It's always better to be safe than sorry when your body just doesn't feel right.