why do my thyroid levels keep changing
Abnormally high thyroid hormone levels, or hyperthyroidism, can cause increased heart rate, anxiety and weight loss. When thyroid hormone levels drop too low the result is fatigue, weight gain and slowed heart rate, a condition known as hypothyroidism. Inflammation of the thyroid gland can disrupt normal thyroid hormone levels in numerous ways. Hashimoto rsquo;s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder, and one of several diseases that causes inflammation of the thyroid. Hereditary factors, gender, radiation exposure and pregnancy all influence a person rsquo;s likelihood of getting Hashimoto rsquo;s thyroiditis, according to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. This disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Toxic substances and radiation exposure can also inflame the thyroid gland, prompting an abnormal increase in the release of stored of thyroid hormones. Postpartum thyroiditis typically affects less than 10 percent of women during the year after giving birth, according the Hormone Foundation.
It begins with a 2- to 4-month phase during which the thyroid is overactive. The over-stimulation eventually damages the gland, which then produces less hormone, beginning a hypothyroid phase. Tumors of the pituitary gland can affect thyroid hormone levels. The pituitary gland produces thyroid stimulating hormone, or TSH. Some pituitary tumors cause an increase in the production of thyroid stimulating hormone, while others can cause decreases. Thyroid stimulating hormone in turn prompts the thyroid to produce greater amounts of hormone. According to Lab Tests Online, dysfunction of the hypothalamus can alter the pituitary gland rsquo;s ability to make TSH, which in turn affects thyroid hormone levels. Benign tumors called adenomas can grow in the thyroid and produce excess thyroid hormone even in the absence of the TSH usually released by the pituitary gland. The Hormone Foundation states that 90 percent of thyroid tumors are benign, but cancerous thyroid nodules do exist, and can spread through the body rapidly.
A deficiency or excess of iodine in the diet can affect the function of the thyroid gland. Iodine is essential for the creation of thyroid hormones. In the United States, iodine is added to salt, which has lead to an elimination of iodine deficiency from the realm of major public health problems, but in some other areas of the world, iodine deficiency still causes problems such as goiter and hypothyroidism. Overexposure to dietary iodine can cause hyperthyroidism. Dr. Daniel Drucker, Professor of Medicine in the Endocrinology Division at the University of Toronto, states that some dietary supplements, cold remedies, prescription drugs and seaweed products contain amounts of iodine that could prompt a hyperthyroid reaction if taken in excess.
Things like autoimmune diseases, surgery, and radiation treatment can all keep your thyroid gland from making the right amount of thyroid hormone.
This is the most common reason that Americans have low thyroid levels. It's an autoimmune disease. If you have one, your immune system attacks your body's healthy cells. If you have Hashimoto's disease, it destroys the cells that make thyroid hormone. You can get hypothyroidism if you've had surgery to remove part or all of your thyroid gland. You may have that done if you have a growth on your thyroid, or if it's making too much hormone (which is called hyperthyroidism). If you have the entire gland removed, you will get hypothyroidism. For some people, if only part of it is taken out, the part that's left behind may still be able to make enough thyroid hormone. This can damage cells that make thyroid hormone. You might get treated with radiation for: A bacterial or viral infection can make your thyroid gland swell. You may hear your doctor call this thyroiditis. The damaged thyroid leaks hormone into your blood.
That causes your thyroid hormone level to rise briefly. Once that hormone gets used, your levels will drop back to normal. Low levels from thyroiditis usually don't last long because the gland hasn't been permanently damaged. Women can get thyroiditis after they give birth. That's called postpartum thyroiditis. It's thought to be an autoimmune disease, much like Hashimoto's disease. Some can affect how your thyroid works and lead to low hormone levels. These include: Lithium: Used for bipolar disorder and depression. Interferon alpha: A cancer treatment. Amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone): Given for heart rhythm problems. Interleukin-2: Used for kidney cancer. Your thyroid gland needs iodine to make its hormone. You get it from many of the foods you eat. Not getting enough is rare in the U. S. because it's added to a lot of foods. It happens more in developing countries. Too much iodine can cause or worsen hypothyroidism.
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