What risk factors are associated with thyroid disorder?

What risk factors are associated with thyroid disorder?

The following risk factors are associated with thyroid disorder:

  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid): Family history of thyroid dysfunction and gender (females are more prone to overactive thyroid glands than males)
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid): Women (especially over the age of 60), presence of an autoimmune condition (such as lupus, diabetes (type 1), rheumatoid arthritis or another chronic inflammatory disorder), a family history of thyroid dysfunction (or autoimmune conditions), having received treatment with radioactive iodine or received radiation to the neck or upper chest area, having been treated with anti-thyroid medications, had a partial thyroidectomy (surgical procedure of the thyroid), pregnancy (and given birth within the past 6 months)
  • Goitres, thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer: A lack of dietary iodine, gender (females), middle age (40 and older), a family history of thyroid dysfunction or autoimmune disorders, pregnancy, menopause, some heart and psychiatric medications (containing lithium), and radiation treatment exposure to the neck and chest areas.

Are there ways to prevent thyroid disorders?

In the majority of instances, an overactive or underactive thyroid is not entirely preventable, especially if it is caused by an underlying autoimmune disease. Iodine deficiency is something that has been noted in developing countries in the world. Many table salt products now include iodine as a way to prevent deficiency in the general public. The development of goitres or nodules are also not considered preventable.

Preventative measures may apply more to treatment in that maintaining directed medication use exactly as recommended can prohibit deficiencies from falling well short of balanced levels, and vice versa. In this way, complications can be effectively managed and prevented altogether.

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