Thyroid Awareness Month: Understanding Hypothyroidism Diagnosis and Treatment |

Causes of Hypothyroidism

In most cases, the main culprit of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s disease, which occurs when your immune system mistakes cells in your thyroid gland for a threat and attacks them.

Other causes of hypothyroidism include surgical removal of all or part of the thyroid gland, radiation therapy, thyroid abnormalities present at birth, and certain medications. Sometimes hypothyroidism can occur after pregnancy, but these cases are usually temporary.

Although men can also suffer from hypothyroidism, women are five to eight times more likely to develop the disease, according to Colvin. Women over 60 have an increased risk.

“Hypothyroidism is more common in women. This is primarily due to hormonal imbalance or fluctuations, immune influence of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, and autoimmune susceptibility,” Colvin said.

Symptoms

When your thyroid gland is underactive and not producing enough hormones, you may feel drained and drained. However, hypothyroidism develops slowly.

An underactive thyroid may not cause symptoms at first. This is because the body tries to compensate by stimulating the thyroid to produce more hormones. This is similar to how you might push the throttle to give a car more gas when going up a hill.