Page 34 - March 2021 Hustle Mama Magazine
P. 34

   Who Gets Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism can develop in anyone at any age, but it occurs most often in women, and the risk rises after age 60. In older people, hyperthyroidism symptoms can be subtle, and doctors sometimes mistake it for depression or dementia. If someone has uncontrolled hyperthyroidism and gets pregnant, hyperthyroidism can sometimes affect the baby.
Risk factors for hyperthyroidism include:
A family history of thyroid problems, particularly Graves’ disease
Health problems including pernicious anemia (a vitamin B12 deficiency), type 1 diabetes, and primary adrenal insufficiency, a disorder that affects the hormones
Being female
Being older than age 60
Consuming large amounts of iodine from medications or food
Recent pregnancy
Extreme stress or trauma, which can trigger Graves’ disease in people with a genetic susceptibility
While some people may be more at risk of hyperthyroidism than others, anyone can get it. Hyperthyroidism has several causes, including:
Graves’ disease, mentioned above – an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid, causing it to overproduce T4. Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism.
Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules occur when a small piece of the thyroid malfunctions, creating small, benign (non-cancerous) nodules or lumps. These nodules pump out thyroid hormones and do not respond to TSH levels.
Thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid, can occur after pregnancy. An infection or virus can also cause thyroiditis. In thyroiditis, the inflamed thyroid begins to leak stored thyroid hormone into the bloodstream.
Excess iodine consumption. The thyroid makes thyroid hormones out of iodine. If someone consumes too much iodine, it may spur the production of excess thyroid hormone. Iodine is present in some medications, including some heart medications and cough syrups. Seaweed and seaweed supplements also contain iodine, as does table salt with added iodine.
Excess thyroid medication. People who take medicine for hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels) can experience hyperthyroid symptoms if their dose of medication is too high. It’s essential that if you are taking medication for hypothyroidism that you have your thyroid levels checked from time to time, as your levels – and the dose of medicine you require – can change over time.
People with hypothyroidism gain
weight, feel cold, fight fatigue, depression, and more.

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