No one is sure of the exact causes of hypothyroidism, but one factor that might contribute to your risk of developing it is heredity.
What Is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a condition where a person’s thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of the neck, does not produce enough thyroid hormone.
Thyroid hormone regulates metabolism, cholesterol levels and more.
The most common cause of hypothyroidism in the US is an autoimmune disorder, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, in which the body starts to attack and destroy thyroid cells.
Is It Hereditary?
If a person in your family has hypothyroidism, there’s an increased chance that you will develop a thyroid problem at some point in your life.
However, it might not always be hypothyroidism, an underactive gland. It might be hyperthyroidism, an overactive gland.
Hypothyroidism such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis has also been associated with other autoimmune disorders which tend to have a genetic link.
These include type 1 diabetes, which destroys the insulin-producing glands in the body; Addison’s disease, which affects the adrenal glands (just above the kidneys); and rheumatoid arthritis.
Hypothyroidism at Birth
While hypothyroidism is most common in women over 60, babies can be born with hypothyroidism – especially if family members have hypothyroidism.
In some cases, the baby might even be born without a thyroid gland, or the gland isn’t fully developed.
It might also be fully developed but can’t produce thyroid hormones. In all these cases, they would have to take a supplement to maintain their health.
Although some causes and risk factors of hypothyroidism can be genetic, this does not mean you are certain to develop it.
However, it is important to be familiar with the signs and symptoms in case you start to feel unwell, so you can get your thyroid hormone levels tested.
You can also eat a diet which contains iodine, such as cod fish, cow’s milk, and potatoes.
However, there is no need to overdo it, since too much iodine can also produce thyroid problems.
Stress reduction and avoiding inflammation in the body can also help.
Stress reduction methods include meditation and yoga.
Inflammation can be reduced through eating a diet rich in olive oil and fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you’ve been struggling with your weight and someone in your family has thyroid problems and/or autoimmune disorders, it might be time to get a check-up at your doctor’s.
To find out more about hypothyroidism watch this video