What causes hypothyroidism?


Quick Answer

Hypothyroidism can be caused by a variety of factors including autoimmune disease, thyroid surgery, having too little or too much iodine, and taking certain medications such as lithium, according to Healthline. Radiation treatment for Grave's disease or Hodgkin's lymphoma can also cause hypothyroidism, and people can also be born with it.

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What causes hypothyroidism?
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Full Answer

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid does not produce enough T4 and T3 hormones. The body's metabolic functions are affected when the thyroid doesn't make enough of these hormones. According to Healthline, hypothyroidism has no cure. Symptoms of this condition include constipation, depression, heavier menstrual flow, fatigue, and brittle hair and nails. More severe symptoms include thickened skin, hoarseness, and decreased sense of taste and smell. Untreated hypothyroidism can lead to goiter, increased risk of heart disease and a specific type of coma.

Hypothyroidism is diagnosed by performing blood tests that measure the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone that the pituitary gland produces. According to Mayo Clinic, the standard treatment for hypothyroidism is the use of the synthetic hormone levothyroxine in the form of oral medications such as Levothroid and Synthroid. Mayo Clinic advises that treating doctors determine the proper dosage by checking thyroid-stimulating hormone levels and monitoring any side effects, including heart palpitations and insomnia.

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