What Causes Thyroid Disease?

There is a thyroid gland found in our neck region that releases and produces two hormones. Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) are the two hormones that are responsible for regulating the metabolism of the body. When the thyroid isn’t functions properly, you get thyroid disease. About 20 million people in the United States suffer from thyroid disease in some form. The cause of this disease that affects so many people is imperative to find out.


A general term that is used to define the conditions highlighted by irritation in the gland is called thyroiditis. Hypothyroidism results when inflammations caused by these conditions slowly destroys cells in the thyroid. This results in levels of hormones in the thyroid gland become extremely low. If cells of the thyroid get rapidly destroyed all of the stored hormones of the thyroid will escape all at once. This condition is called thyrotoxicosis. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism are almost the same as thyrotoxicosis. They include insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, weight loss, and increased rate of the heart.

What Causes Thyroid Disease?The usual reason for hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis as reported by the Thyroid Association of America. This happens when there are cells that make up the gland in the thyroid that get attacked by the cells that make up the immune system of the body. The thyroid cells are destroyed which creates a deficiency of thyroid hormones. The glands of the pituitary then produce TSH which is a hormone that stimulates the thyroid and make additional hormones of the thyroid. This causes goiter which is extreme inflammation in the thyroid.

Another form of inflammation is called post-partum thyroiditis. The thyroid becomes inflamed, which causes thyrotoxicosis and then causes periods of the hypothyroidism condition. This is a temporary condition that may occur in completely normal pregnant woman in the first year after they give birth. Almost 80% of mothers become normal again after about a year or so as stated by the American Thyroid Association.

Deficiency of Iodine

Iodine can only be absorbed by the glands of the thyroid cells. It is also necessary to have iodine in order to make thyroid hormones. Merck Manual states that an iodine deficiency can also result in a disease of the thyroid. This condition is quite rare. The gland of the thyroid will get bigger to try and find more iodine if there isn’t enough present. A goiter will result that doesn’t have the ability to make enough of the thyroid hormone which causes hypothyroidism.

Cancer of the thyroidWhat Causes Thyroid Disease?

Cancer of the thyroid results when cells grow abnormally which will cause a tumor located at the thyroid. Thyroid cancer comes in four forms. All of them will cause disease of the thyroid. One type of cancer covers 80% of the cases. This is called papillary cancer of the thyroid.

The National Cancer Institute reports the next most numerous type is called follicular cancer of the thyroid. Then the next in occurrence is medullary cancer of the thyroid and lastly, anaplastic cancer of the thyroid.

Tumors in the gland of the pituitary

The gland of the pituitary can be found at the bottom of the brain. It is responsible for making TSH which controls making the hormones inside the gland of the thyroid. You may be able to find a tumor that is noncancerous, an adenoma, in the gland of the pituitary. This may affect the making of TSH. This tumor can also cause too much TSH to be produced which would cause hyperthyroidism or it can cause too little TSH to be produced with would cause hypothyroidism.