Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: thyroid | disease | cause | goiter | hyperthyroidism | iodine

The Causes of Thyroid Disease

Wednesday, 18 Jan 2012 11:43 AM

Question: Can you tell me the cause of thyroid disease? I have it and so do many of my relatives. I’m wondering if it is hereditary or something to do with our lifestyle.

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter (enlarged gland) that needs no treatment to cancer. Usually, the common problems are an abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Too much thyroid hormone results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism, and insufficient hormone production leads to hypothyroidism. There are no foods that will cause a goiter, but chronic iodine deficiency will cause goiter. Now that bread, many foods, and salt is iodized, iodine-deficient goiter is rarely seen in the U.S. It is, however, still present in countries with malnutrition and food supply issues such as in Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and many impoverished Third World countries.

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