Tags: Thyroid Disorders | thyroid | disease | risk

Are You at Risk for Thyroid Disease?

By    |   Thursday, 14 Apr 2016 06:50 PM

Thyroid disease is caused by an abnormal production of thyroid hormones, which help with the body’s metabolism. Thyroid problems are usually manageable through proper treatment, but some disorders can lead to thyroid cancer.

Women are more at-risk for thyroid disease than men. Thyroid disorders in women can result in menstrual problems, an inability to get pregnant, and difficulties during pregnancy, according to WomensHealth.gov, a site sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Because thyroid disease adversely affects the menstrual cycle, it can involve ovaries, causing early menopause and problems in pregnancy.

Hyperthyroidism refers to an overactive thyroid. It is often caused by Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder. The body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland because of the disorder and makes it overproduce the thyroid hormone.

Whether man or woman, being over age 60 increases the risk of hyperthyroidism, according to Everyday Health. Also, a family history of thyroid disease may increase the risk, as will previous thyroid problems or thyroid surgery. Type 1 diabetes or other autoimmune diseases can contribute to the development of an overactive thyroid, the site says, while too much iodine in food or medication also may increase the risk. In women, a recent pregnancy can contribute as well.

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Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, causes the thyroid gland to produce too little of the thyroid hormone. It slows down metabolism in the body.

Along with being over age 60 and having a family history of thyroid or autoimmune disease, risk factors include previous thyroid surgery, chromosomal abnormalities and using lithium for mental health issues, says Everyday Health. Radiation procedures on the neck may also increase the risk of the disorder. Hormonal changes from pregnancy or menopause could also heighten thyroid disease risk in women.

Patients should consult their doctor about having tests for thyroid disease if they have had previous thyroid problems or have undergone surgery or radiotherapy that could affect the thyroid gland. Conditions such as type 1 diabetes, anemia, or goiter may also warrant testing for thyroid diseases.

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Thyroid disease is caused by an abnormal production of thyroid hormones, which help with the body's metabolism. Thyroid problems are usually manageable through proper treatment, but some disorders can lead to thyroid cancer.
thyroid, disease, risk
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2016-50-14
Thursday, 14 Apr 2016 06:50 PM
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