Most people assume that thyroid disease comes only from genetics. Often, people will just assume that their thyroid problems come from a family history of the same issues. While some cases of thyroid disease can, in fact, be linked to genetic issues to some extent, the vast majority of the causes have to do with lifestyle and different side effects from medications.
The Main Causes
There are actually dozens of different things that could cause thyroid disease, but there are a few most commonly seen. These common causes of the condition include:
- Imbalance in iodine intake. If you are getting too much or too little dietary iodine, you could develop thyroid disease.
- Getting too much soy foods that contain intense amounts of isoflavones.
- Taking medications that do damage to the thyroid.
- Treatment for hyperthyroidism can actually cause hypothyroidism.
Additionally, if you had part of your thyroid surgically removed for some reason, you need to follow care instructions provided by your doctor very carefully. If you don’t, you can develop hypothyroidism.
How Do You Know if You Have Thyroid Disease?
If you have any reason to believe you have thyroid disease, then you will need to see a specialist doctor. It’s best to not take any chances with your problem since it can lead to other complications. The symptoms of thyroid disease include the following:
- Swelling in the neck, especially on the sides.
- Hair or skin that has become poorer or more brittle.
- Problems with unexplained depression.
- Unusually high or low cholesterol levels.
- Unexplained fatigue.
- Unexplained weight loss or gain.
- For women: menstrual issues.
- Irregular bowel movements.
If you have any of these symptoms and you can’t explain them, then you need to make an appointment with a specialist. There is a chance you have thyroid disease, and you will need to get the proper diagnosis and treatment so that you don’t continue to suffer from those symptoms.
How It is Treated
Because there are different types of thyroid disease, your doctor will need to determine the underlying causes of the condition. There are different ways it can be treated, such as:
- Changes in lifestyle
- Changes in prescription medication
- Thyroid specific medication
- Changes in diet
- Possible surgery (in severe cases)
You can’t expect a certain treatment without first seeing a surgeon. Only a specialist can determine what has actually caused your condition and then determine how your treatment should progress.
Finding a Surgeon
Don’t make the mistake of just choosing a name in the phonebook, and definitely don’t just choose a surgeon based on cost. Instead, take the time and find a doctor who is trained and qualified and has a good reputation with past patients. Because you could be undergoing serious treatments, even possibly surgery, you need to know that you are getting the best care. The only way to do this is to avoid subpar professionals.
Make sure you choose a surgeon who specializes in the throat and the thyroid specifically to get the best results.
There is no one thing that causes thyroid disease, and the condition is not always linked to genetics. Instead, the disease could be related to lifestyle, diet, medications, and more. Make sure you understand the symptoms of the different types of thyroid disorder. If you see any of those symptoms or you expect you have the condition, make an appointment with a qualified physician as soon as possible. Often, the disease is extremely easy to treat with simple changes.
Dr. Michael Barakate is a pediatric and adult otolaryngologist located in Sydney, Australia offering thyroid and parathyroid information at Thyroid.com.au.