Various risk factors to thyroid disease are at hand. Take a look at some of the most common precipitating factors of thyroid disease.
For both men and women, 50 years of age and above are at higher risk of acquiring the disease.
Thyroid cases are more often seen in women than in men. Women are said to have 6 to 8 times higher risk compared to the male population. Although some experts disregard this fact, surveys have shown that women are more prone to acquiring thyroid disease.
Background and Personal History
If you previously had a thyroid disease, you are at much greater risk of acquiring it again. Also, if you have had thyroid conditions while pregnant, you can adapt it even after it has resolved. Autoimmune disease may also put you at risk for thyroid disease. You may develop Grave’s disease or Hashimoto’s disease if you have a history of autoimmune diseases.
Genes also play a vital role in thyroid conditions. With thyroid diseases, you may be 50% more prone to the condition if any of your direct family members are afflicted. First degree family relatives are usually the ones most commonly affected with genetically induced thyroid conditions.
Surgical Removal of the Thyroid Gland
If your thyroid gland is partially or completely removed, you may be at risk of acquiring hypothyroidism. Because the hormones secreted will be much lesser, you could possibly develop a hypothyroid condition.
Radioactive Iodine Treatment / RAI
Radioactive Iodine is used to cure hyperthyroid conditions. It removes the destroyed gland through radioactive capsule intake. Like surgery, the remaining glands may produce lesser hormones needed by the body. As a result, a hypothyroid condition may come about.
Post Pregnancy Period
During the first year of the postpartum life, a woman may be at risk of having an autoimmune thyroid disease.
Thyroid disease is also common among smokers. Cigarettes contain a substance called thiocyanate which affects the thyroid gland and acts as an anti-thyroid agent. Smoking may also increase the severity of certain thyroid diseases which proves that the habit is really unhealthy for the body. Smoking may complicate some symptoms of Grave’s disease like lid-lag eyes. Patients are advised to stop smoking once a thyroid diagnosis has been established.
There are certain individuals who make use of Iodine in pills or liquid form. These people are at risk for autoimmune thyroid diseases. It may also increase the risk of thyrotoxicosis, a severe and sudden condition of the thyroid gland.
Deficiency in Iodine Intake
There are some places in the world where Iodine sources are hard to find. Because this element is important in the fabrication of certain thyroid hormones, a deficiency of Iodine may also promote lesser production of the essential thyroid hormones. Iodized salt is now used in many countries worldwide to avoid diseases which result from iodine deficiency.
Goitrogenic foods, as the name suggests, can cause goiter or abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Some foods that are eaten raw may cause hyperthyroidism in some people. Examples of these food sources are: turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, kale, millet, African cassava, rutabagas, brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Too much intake of these foods may cause your thyroid glands to permanently enlarge.
Medications and Treatments
The medications for hypo conditions may cause adverse effects that can lead to the development of hyperthyroid conditions. The hyperthyroid medication, on the other hand, may result in hypothyroid conditions. Also, some treatments not related to the disease can lead to underactive thyroid. These include: immunosuppressants, Lithium, bone marrow transplant, amiodarone, monoclonal antibody, and antiretrovirals.
Those who are constantly exposed to radiation may also develop thyroid conditions. Radiation is known to cause negative effects in the body. It can destroy the normal cells we have and may trigger them to form new structures like cysts and nodules. Those who work in radiology departments and in chemotherapy wards are prone to acquiring the disease. They need to institute the necessary precautionary measures to avoid getting exposed to radioactive materials.
Although not significantly proven, neck trauma can cause thyroid conditions to occur. If you experience neck trauma, you have to be seen by a physician right away. Immediate treatment is necessary to avoid complications.