Causes of Hypothyroidism
The causes of hypothyroidism in a person vary greatly, including among others the side effects of therapy, radiotherapy, surgery, and autoimmune diseases. Some of the most common causes of hypothyroidism are:
- Side effects of treatment of hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is a disease that causes a person to produce excessive thyroid hormone from normal levels. Treatment of hyperthyroidism often uses radioactive iodine and antithyroid drugs. However, sometimes side effects arise from the treatment that actually causes a person is exposed to hypothyroidism.
- Thyroid surgery. Thyroid gland surgery can cause a person to lose some of the thyroid gland. This results in the production of thyroid hormones to be inhibited so that exposed to hypothyroidism, and need to get thyroid hormone for life.
- Drug side effects. Some side effects of drugs can cause hypothyroidism, for example lithium drugs used to treat psychiatric disorders.
- Radiotherapy. Radiotherapy, especially given to the neck region, can interfere with the performance of the thyroid gland and cause hypothyroidism.
- Autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases, especially Hashimoto’s thyroid disease, are the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Hashimoto autoimmune disease will cause the immune system to attack the body itself, especially the thyroid gland. This causes the production of thyroid hormone is disrupted so as to trigger hypothyroidism. Can not explain the main cause of the autoimmune disease.
Some of the causes of hypothyroidism that may occur, but rarely appear are:
- Congenital abnormalities. Some babies are born with abnormalities in their thyroid gland or do not even have thyroid gland at all. In some cases, the baby is born with the thyroid gland, but it does not develop well as the baby ages. Infants with congenital thyroid abnormalities often appear normal at the onset of growth.
- Iodine deficiency. Iodine (iodine) is needed to make hormones T3 and T4. Iodine deficiency can trigger hypothyroidism. Conversely, too much consumption of iodine can also trigger hypothyroidism.
- Pituitary gland abnormalities. Lack of hormone TSH produced by the pituitary gland can cause hypothyroidism. Cases of this disorder are often caused by benign tumors in the pituitary gland.
- Pregnancy. Some pregnant women may develop hypothyroidism during or after pregnancy (postpartum hypothyroidism). Postpartum hypothyroidism is caused by pregnant women’s antibodies that actually attack the body itself, including the thyroid gland. If left untreated, hypothyroidism in pregnant women may increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and preeclampsia.
The things that cause a person to have a greater risk for hypothyroidism are:
- Female sex with age above 60 years.
- Has autoimmune disease.
- Pregnant or give birth within the last 6 months.
- Have a family member with a history of thyroid abnormalities.
- Never get treatment using radioactive iodine or antithyroid drugs.
- Never get radiotherapy into the neck or upper chest area.
- Have had thyroid surgery (partial thyroidectomy).