Hypothyroidism
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Hypothyroidism Causes

Written by FoundHealth.

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop hypothyroidism with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing hypothyroidism. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your healthcare provider what you can do to reduce your risk.

Medical Conditions

There are several medical conditions known to increase your risk of hypothyroidism. These include:

  • Pregnancy—Five to eight percent of women develop postpartum thyroiditis. This condition is characterized by hyperthyroidism that is followed by hypothyroidism. Improvement usually results without treatment, but recurrences can occur and treatment is sometimes needed. This condition can also overlap with other causes of hyper or hypothyroidism.
  • A history of other autoimmune diseases, such as:
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Underactive adrenal or parathyroid glands
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Addison’s disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Myaesthenia gravis

Age

Your risk of hypothyroidism increases with age, especially after age 65 years.

Gender

Women are approximately 4 to 5 times more likely to develop the condition than men.

Genetic factors

If any of your family members have hypothyroidism, you are at greater risk.

Race/Ethnicity

Hypothyroidism occurs more often in Caucasians than in African Americans.

References

References:

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website. Available at: http://www.aace.com/ .

Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine.15th ed. McGraw-Hill; 2001.

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