|What Causes Thyroid Disease?
Below is list of various conditions or influences which can cause thyroid disorders:
Removal Of Thyroid Gland
If your thyroid gland was removed surgically or chemically as a treatment for hyperthyroidism, or a severe case of thyroid nodules you are likely to develop hypothyroidism. Without the gland, no thyroid hormones can be produced.
Your body needs iodine to produce thyroid hormones. The recommended daily intake of iodine is 150 to 200 mg - one teaspoon of salt contains about 400 mg. As most Americans consume enough salt (too much in fact, it's hidden in a lot of processed foods), this is more of a problem in poor countries. In Canada salt is iodized, so Canadians don't generally suffer deficiencies. In the UK, there is no public policy of iodizing table salt. However their cows are fed iodine-enriched feed, so most Britains get their iodine intake from dairy products.
Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disorder which causes the body to attack its own thyroid. Also called chronic thyroiditis and autoimmune thyroid disease, studies show that if all the US population were tested, about 10 percent would have the condition. The good news is, the vast majority of people never suffer as a result. Only about 1 in every 1,000 people only will develop symptoms of thyroid disease, and a smaller number again will go on to develop hypothyroidism. Generally it is a hereditary condition and surfaces, if it does, postmenopause.
This is an autoimmune condition that can cause over-activity of the thyroid gland. It is the leading cause of hyperthyroidism by far (70 percent of cases). Doctors are not sure why women in particular develop Graves disease. They have a number of theories how the disease develops, ranging from catching it via a viral infection, inheriting it genetically and being the side effect of chronic stress.
Some common food products can cause hypothyroidism if you eat them in large enough quantities. These foods are called goitrogens (because they can trigger goiter (image) as well as hypothyroidism). Goitrogens are troublesome because they interfere with thyroid hormone production. The worst culprits are:
If eating these foods caused your hypothyroidism, cutting them out of your diet for 6 weeks may cure your disease. Thyroid tests will be able to accurately measure your response.
As certain foods can cause thyroid problems, so can certain medicines. These include:
• Amiodarone, a heart drug used as an arrhythmia treatment.
• Lithium, used for treating psychiatric patients.
• Propranolol, a type of beta blocker drug.
• Prednisone and hydrocortisone, these are steroids used as anti-inflammatories.
• Certain cold and sinus medications that contain the stimulant pseudoephedrine. This includes some Sudafed products. If you have a flu, plenty of rest, fluid, good nutrition and vitamin C may be a better option.
People who had radiation therapy to the neck and head area are more prone to developing thyroid disorders. In particular, people who received radiation treatment (in the 1940s and 50s) for inflamed tonsils or as an acne treatment have a higher than normal chance of developing thyroid cancer.
Stress And Lifestyle
Chronic stress (long-term stress) has a massive impact on nearly every part of our body. And it can affect the thyroid too. According to natural healers, the thyroid is linked to the throat and voice, so people who do not speak up for themselves may be more likely to develop thyroid disease. Read about the dangers of stress.
Trauma Or Injury
Some studies show that injury to the back, neck or throat can impact your long-term thyroid health. The injury could be the result of whiplash from a car accident, dental braces or bad chiropractic maneuvers.
Some women develop what is called postpartum thyroiditis - that is their thyroid becomes inflamed after childbirth. Scientists are still not sure why this should occur but it may be that they already have asymptomatic autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s) that flares up after childbirth. It is more common in women with type 1 diabetes or a family history of thyroid problems. It typically occurs 4-8 months after childbirth and produces symptoms of hypothyroidism. It can last up to 18 months before the thyroid returns to normal. However 20 percent of women will remain permanently hypothyroid. Read also about thyroid disease and pregnancy.