Thursday, January 24, 2013
What Are the Causes of Thyroid Problems?
Hormones that are created in the thyroid gland help regulate the rate at which the body burns fuel. Thyroid gland dysfunction can cause either overproduction or underproduction of thyroxine, triiodothyronine, or calcitonin, three hormones that the gland produces. An imbalance in thyroid hormones can result in a slowing or speeding of metabolism. Increases in thyroid hormone cause the heart rate to accelerate, with nervousness and insomnia frequently reported. Slowed heart rate and fatigue are often experienced in cases where thyroid hormone levels are decreased.
Autoimmune disorders occur when your immune system mistakenly mounts an unwarranted defensive attack against something it has deemed to be a threat. In certain diseases, such as Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s disease, the healthy cells of the thyroid gland are targeted for attack by the immune system.
Benign and cancerous tumors can cause problems in the thyroid gland. The University of Maryland Medical Center says benign tumors such as adenomas can secrete large amounts of thyroid hormone that cause hyperthyroidism.
Too Much Iodine
The thyroid gland needs iodine in order to manufacture hormones. When you consume too much iodine, you can get hyperthyroidism. Merck lists expectorants and X-ray contrast agents as possible sources of excess iodine.
Disorders of the pituitary gland are an additional, but rare, cause of hyperthyroidism. The pituitary gland is the source of thyroid stimulating hormone, or TSH. Lab Tests Online says pituitary disorders can be caused by hereditary factors, trauma, tumors and numerous other influences.