Hypothyroidism

(Hashimoto's Thyroiditis; Underactive Thyroid)

Definition

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck. It produces hormones that control metabolism. Hypothyroidism results when the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone. The most common form of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto thyroiditis.
Thyroid Gland
thyroid gland male
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Causes

Hashimoto thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder. The immune system produces antibodies that attack cells of the thyroid gland.Hypothyroidism may also be caused by:
  • Congenital defects of the gland or how it works
  • Iatrogenic—occurs as the result of surgery or radiation therapy for thyroid cancer treatment
  • Iodine deficiency—rare in the US
  • Pituitary deficiency
  • Unknown reasons

Risk Factors

Hypothyroidism is more common in women, and in those aged 65 years and older. Other factors that may increase your chance of hypothyroidism include:

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